Shawn Johnson, Gilles Marini tied going into Dancing with the Stars 8’s finale

Dancing with the Stars 8 comes to an end tonight with a two-hour finale starting at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. So who will win? The jilted bachelorette and last-minute replacement? The frighteningly stalked teenager who has an amusingly stimulated professional partner? Or the man best known for showing his penis in the Sex and the City movie?

During the mercifully compact final Monday episode, the three couples first danced a paso doble, each taking part of the song; for that, Shawn Johnson received a 28, Melissa Rycroft received 29 points, and Gilles Marini got a perfect 30. During the freestyle routines, Shawn Johnson got 30, for a total of 58; Melissa got 27 with a total of 56; and Gilles received 28, a total of 58. One more dance will be scored tomorrow night.

For the final performance episode, here are my scores: Shawn Johnson gets a 4 for her bad recitation of the lines producers force-feed her during the package segments (and those producers get a 0), while Bruno Tonoli gets a 9 for having the balls to show his balls in a speedo.

Melissa gets a 10 for (accidentally) punching Tony in the face during rehearsal and a 9 for telling Samantha Harris, “that’s a weird question,” but not a 10 because she didn’t add “idiot.” And whoever costumed Mark and Shawn for their freestyle gets a 666, since they looked like serial killer Jason after he stabbed some glitter to death.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.