Dynamo Drew Wins (Episode 2-8A)

As the winners of the second season of Dancing with the Stars, Drew and Cheryl took home the cheesy trophy. Their deserving victory was a welcome ending to a filler-filled finale.

The evening got off to an awkward start, as the seven previously eliminated couples were reintroduced. Each couple did a lap around the floor, unsure whether they were supposed to be walking or dancing to the house band’s version of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” Fortunately, Max lightened the mood by doing the moonwalk.

Though they’d each done two dances on Thursday, the show’s three finalist couples, Drew & Cheryl, Jerry & Anna, and Stacy & Tony, weren’t done performing just yet. Each couple had created a new routine in their favorite discipline, and the performance was to be scored by the judges. This new score would get added to the judges’ totals from Thursday night.

Jerry and Anna were up first, Cha Cha Cha-ing to Aretha Franklin’s “Think.” Just before they hit the floor, Anna whispered, “Enjoy it!” to Jerry, and he did. He smiled throughout the whole performance, and his technique was better than ever.

Bruno noticed the improvement, complimenting Jerry on his footwork and dubbing the couple, “The Lady and the Champ.” Len said that Jerry had accomplished something to tell his grandkids about someday, and Carrie Ann assured Jerry that the judges never gave up on him.

Their scores reflected it, as the new dance earned straight nines, for a total of 27 points. Jerry and Anna had tallied a combined score of 80/90 for their dances this week. Jerry said that, even if he hadn’t done enough to win outright, he was confident that he couldn’t be caught if he simply ran off with the trophy after the show.

Stacy and Tony went next with a new Samba routine, hoping to make up for the poor scores their freestyle number received on Thursday. Since Tony felt that the judges had rewarded tricks in the freestyle, he made sure to throw a few into the Samba.

While dancing to Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” Stacy followed Jerry’s example and enjoyed herself. She and Tony had lots of energy, and their technique was perfect, as always. Carrie Ann thanked them for setting the standard so high for the rest of the competition. Len said that Stacy had captivated his heart, and that no celebrity will ever be able to Samba as well as her.

Bruno told Stacy to expect choreographers to line up, offering to create dances for her. Presumably Bruno is already at the head of that queue, since he is, after all, a choreographer.

Stacy and Tony earned yet another perfect score from the judges, bringing their three-dance total to 86/90.

Drew and Cheryl had the difficult task of topping their bombastic freestyle routine, so they included a trick in their Jive that could make or break them. Drew had to jump over a standing Cheryl, who, in heels, is at least the same height as Drew. If he didn’t execute the jump perfectly, Cheryl might’ve been snapped in half.

With Drew in blue rhinestone shoes, and Cheryl dressed in an outfit inspired equally by Elvis and Barbarella, they boogied to “Hound Dog” — and executed the jump perfectly. Carrie Ann commended them on their risky routines, and Bruno praised Drew for being a reliable “dynamo.” Len said that Drew approached the competition with guns a-blazin’, like Wyatt Earp.

Straight nines from the judges earned the couple a score of 27, and earned the judges a loud and lengthy chorus of boos from the audience. The total judges’ score for Drew and Cheryl was 87/90, enough to clinch them first place in that aspect of the show’s scoring. Drew said that a win would be great for Cheryl, as the show has been such a wonderful platform for ballroom dancing.

Before announcing the couple with the lowest combined judge and audience scores, special guest Mary J. Blige performed. She was accompanied by Salsa champs Rodrigo Guzman & Yesenia Adame, who had also performed an exhibition for the week four results show.

It was then time to close the first half of the show by announcing the first couple out of trophy contention: Stacy and Tony.

After he announced their names, host Tom Bergeron said, “You could feel the air go out of the place.” Tia Carrere, sitting in the audience, mouthed, “Wow.” And there were many audible gasps in the studio.

During a montage of performance and interview clips, Stacy told Tony, “I am where I am because of you.” He said he’d gained a lifelong friend in Stacy. They both reacted to the clips with tears.

After the montage, Stacy’s voice cracked as she told Drew she was one of his biggest fans. She told Jerry that she’d love to dance with him some time. Both of the men looked brokenhearted, again confirming that this group of contestants really did get along.

Stacy’s tearful farewell should help quell critics who called her unemotional throughout the season. To some, her dancing may have seemed that way, but she herself certainly wasn’t.

In the episode’s second hour, the filler portion commenced with performances by the season’s first four eliminated couples. Kenny & Andrea did the Cha Cha Cha; Tatum & Nick waltzed; Giselle & Jonathan did the Rumba; and Ashly did the Jive, as Master P stomped around the floor.

After a commercial break, the next three eliminated couples danced. Tia & Max did their crowd-pleasing Tango. But instead of ending with a quick drop to the floor, as they had done during the competition, Max gently lowered Tia down to the ground. He was a perfect gentleman, and his hair looked better than ever. George & Edyta then did a fun Fox Trot, and Lisa & Louis concluded the set with an enthusiastic Jive.

Tom talked briefly with a few of the celebs as they sat in the audience. Kenny seemed to think that, if Stacy could be eliminated on a night where she got a perfect score, then he was still in contention for the trophy. Master P plugged the nonexistent new sitcom he’ll be starring in with George, “Home Boys.” And Lisa put the kibosh on George’s budding romance with Stacy.

Mary J. Blige performed again, without any dancers this time. As far as filler material went, it seemed a little out of place. A montage of Drew and Jerry would’ve been more appropriate.

Be careful what you wish for. After Blige, we were treated to two montages each about Jerry and Drew, and their respective journeys to the finals.

More interesting than this show filler was seeing DWTS’s impact on our culture. A pair of the commercials shown during the show might never have existed without it. Antonio Banderas introduced a preview of his upcoming dancing flick, Take the Lead. And Hanes employed an all-female dance company to demonstrate the comfort and flexibility of their undies. Wait’ll we get our integrated marketing strategy on you.

Finally, it was time for the winner to be announced. Drew and Cheryl celebrated, as Tom announced they were the winners of Dancing with the Stars 2.

Unfortunately for Jerry, Stacy’s elimination had made it mathematically impossible for him to win, although Drew had been gracious enough to pretend that he didn’t know. In defeat, Jerry thanked Anna for believing in him, and he said that he was glad he took the chance to try something new.

Drew, whose wife is expecting a baby any day, said he was the luckiest man in the world. He held the trophy he’d previously called “ugly” at arms length, giving Jerry an opportunity to make a mock grab for it.

Dancing with the Stars 2 ended on a more satisfying note than season one did. And for once, the outro music was actually appropriate: “He’s the Greatest Dancer” by Sister Sledge.

Update: Lisa Rinna is a guest on Monday night’s episode of The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch on CNBC, and Cheryl and Drew will perform on ABC’s The View on Tuesday. Elizabeth Hasselbeck better not wear her “Vote 4 Master P” shirt again.