TV Recap

Five Feet High and Rising

On the ''Dancing With the Stars'' season finale, the home viewers proved they love Jerry Rice more than Stacy Keibler, and little Drew Lachey took the disco-ball trophy home

HOLD ME CLOSER, TINY DANCER Drew and partner Cheryl Burke had the best chemistry
Image credit: Dancing with the Stars: Adam Larkey
HOLD ME CLOSER, TINY DANCER Drew and partner Cheryl Burke had the best chemistry

The ''Dancing With the Stars'' finale: Drew wins!

It's official: Drew Lachey is a major celebrity. Take down your posters of taller, more famous, or arguably cooler men and tack one up of Drew. He has sung with a boy band, carried stuff around for his more famous brother and sister-in-law on their reality show, and proved he can jump over Cheryl Burke. He's the complete package.

Hooray! The Drew Crew just won the tacky globular nightmare that Drew himself so aptly criticized. ''It's an ugly trophy...but you really want to win it,'' he said during a confessional. It had the same kind of charm as the entire series — as gaudy and clichéd as Dancing With the Stars is, you still keep returning to see people twirl around in figure-skating costumes and hear the ''incomparable'' musical stylings of Harold Wheeler and his house band. (A final round of applause for Harold, everyone.)

At some point during last night's two billion previously compiled montages (streamed ''live'' directly to your TV), the hosts managed to find time to oust Stacy ''Read About My 42-Inch Legs in Any Newspaper, Magazine, or the Ticker on CNN'' Keibler and her partner, Tony Dovolani. To anyone who actually believed Stacy was ever popular with the public, this would have seemed shocking. At least she went out strong, scoring a perfect 30 in her final samba, which prominently featured both fancy footwork and exposed butt cheeks. Then it was off to the losers' lounge, where she plopped down next to fellow flamingo Lisa Rinna. Or was she next to George Hamilton? Every time they panned back to Stacy, she was sitting next to someone different. This was probably the most mundane detail of the show, and yet I found it the most intriguing. Go figure.

Anyway, Stacy was very gracious about getting the boot. In fact, she didn't seem surprised at all — some ABC person must have pulled her aside and broken it down for her before the finale that she wasn't getting the votes. Clearly, no producer type got to Tony before he let the words ''This girl is like a caged bird; she just wants to go out there and fly'' escape his mouth. Yikes.

After that, with almost an hour left in the show, if you had paid attention when the scoring system was explained and could add the numbers 1, 2, and 3 together, you knew Drew would win. Drew even admitted onstage to working out the math in his own head, in a funny ''Are you really going to drag this out?'' tone of voice. I loved that. He knew the whole time and kept it to himself until the end of the show. So if he's as smart as I'm giving him credit for, Drew's comment that he'd be cool with Jerry winning the title (which he followed up with an inexplicable ''It's all good in the hood'') was made in something approximating jest. He sure is a sassy little champion!

In addition to the three finalists' short but sweet last dances, all of the season's Stars returned to cut a rug for 15 seconds. The amount of effort they all put forth varied, just as it did during the season. Giselle Fernandez and Tia Carrere both looked great and danced beautifully; George and partner Edyta Sliwinska camped it up with a tap-off (with the age difference, they reminded me of Daddy Warbucks and Little Orphan Annie doing the same thing); and Master P...um, well, he did wear the same color as his partner, Ashly DelGrosso. I guess he deserves props for that. Actually, he doesn't. I'm transferring P.'s props to Tatum O'Neal for seeming even more out of it than usual. It just made sense, like Lisa's decision to go with the flamingo outfit. I observed these things and just thought, ''Of course.''

Oh, and Mary J. Blige was there, looking like she couldn't decide if she wanted to be. Those awkward close-ups of her standing alone backstage seemed to really grind her gears. Her hit song ''Family Affair'' didn't exactly scream ''salsa,'' but Mary looked as impressed as any audience member after ordering the ridiculously twisty Rodrigo Guzman and Yesenia Adame to hit the dance floor for her.

And then there was Drew. Cute, fiery Drew. As soon as he accepted the unacceptable-looking trophy (after hilariously pretending to recoil from it), the wee thing got lost in the crowd of well-wishing dancers far too easily. I mean Drew, not the trophy, which Jerry tried to run off with in a last-minute fumble recovery.

But I'm confident Drew was in there somewhere. Just as he'll be somewhere in our hearts forever and ever. Or at least until next season. Okay, maybe next week.

What do you think? Did the right couple win? Should the final scoring system change? And what should next season's trophy be shaped like: Stacy's bottom half, a football, or a life-size model of Drew's head?

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Originally posted Feb 27, 2006