This week in reality TV: Ribeiro crowned Dancing With the Stars champ and more
Witney Carson and Alfonso Ribeiro on "Dancing with the Stars."
Dancing With The Stars
Alfonso Ribeiro stole the season 19 Dancing With the Stars spotlight nearly every week with a nostalgic Carlton dance, baby announcement, back injury and some incredible routines. So it came as no surprise that he and professional partner Witney Carson were also crowned the season’s champions and were handed the mirror ball trophy when the votes were tallied Tuesday night. “I’ve wanted it forever,” Alfonso said with tears in his eyes as confetti and the entire cast surrounded the pair. "He's one of the most hardworking people I've ever met and you deserve this. I'm so proud of you," Witney beamed to her teammate. Duck Dynasty daughter, Sadie Robertson and her pro-partner Mark Ballas were the runner-up duo, followed by Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy, who had their own moment to shine during the finale by re-living some of the season’s top routines that landed them in the finals. Nick Jonas, Meghan Trainor and Jennifer Hudson added musical numbers to the star-studded ending to celebrate the past 11 weeks, 802 sparkling costumes and 2788 hours of training that made up the stimulating season.
“This is the best live show I have seen in all seven seasons,” Blake Shelton said after a night of elevated performances on The Voice. And he wasn’t talking about the superstar guests. Although Taylor Swift did hit the stage to sing her latest chart-topper Blank Space, while Diana Ross, Colbie Caillat, Clive Davis and Christina Aguilera joined the teams as advisors. The real stars of the week were the top 10 competitors, who performed some legendary singles in order to rise to new talented heights in the competition. And most succeeded at the task. Team Pharrell’s DaNica Shirey tackled the Whitney Houston classic I Have Nothing, showcasing her undeniable vocal dominance over the competition by hitting the high notes, while her teammate Luke Wade unleashed an electric rendition of Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness that had host Carson Daly, “feeling like Jay Z.” Gwen Stefani’s blooming pop vocalist Ryan Sill proved that he has nine lives in the competition, as he found himself in the bottom three once again after his performance of Muse’s Starlight. But the last minute social media save gave him one more week, while Reagan James and Anita Antoinette were eliminated by viewer votes.
Dreams of owning their own restaurant one day was the motivating factor for the eight remaining MasterChef Junior hopefuls this week. From an underwater restaurant to a veterinarian eatery named Horses and Courses, the ideas were just as creative as the young competitors’ dishes. To start, a breakfast challenge asked the mini cooks to chef up as many sunny-side up eggs as they could. But unbeknownst to them, the amount of perfect eggs the chefs made equaled the amount of ingredients they were allowed to cook with during the elimination challenge. While it seemed like the more they had to work with, the larger their advantage, that wasn’t necessarily the case for all the cooks. Eight-year-old Abby was the underdog with only two ingredients to work with, but her broiled salmon with asparagus five ways was a show-stopper. Twelve-year-old Samuel presented the top dish of the week with his five-spice seared duck with peso cucumber and broccolini puree. “That may look like there’s only three things on the plate but it tastes like there’s a thousand things going off in my palate,” Gordon Ramsay said. However, it wasn’t all tasty. Josh and Levi’s overcooked proteins were their downfall and the two wrapped up their time in the MasterChef kitchen, while six cooks remain.
“You have to risk it to get the biscuit,” Wes Nale said following his exit from Survivor: San Juan del Sur this week. A climactic tribal council saw a hidden immunity idol scandal play out in a paranoia-driven battle that ended in Wes’ exit. It all started when mastermind Reed Kelly constructed a plan to vote power-player, Jon Misch out of the game by pushing his alliance to vote for Jon, while hoping the other remaining survivors would split their votes to flush out an immunity idol. All was headed according to plan and it looked like the reign of Jon and his girlfriend Jaclyn Schultz had come to an end until Wes’ father Keith Nale opened his mouth at Tribal Council to hint that there might be a plan in motion. Spooked by the coded comments, both Jon and Keith were forced to use their Immunity Idols, leaving Wes with the only one without any protection and his two votes were enough to oust him. Wes had earlier given up his shot at the Immunity Challenge when bribed by a pound of ribs and two cold beers, and his decision to take the food over his safety came back to bite him. Hopefully they tasted like million dollar wings, because that’s what they cost.
MasterChef Exit: Esteemed MasterChef and MasterChef Junior judge, Joe Bastianich is exiting the cooking franchise.
Canada’s Smartest: 22-year-old Kamloops law student, Braden Lauer was crowned the winner of Canada’s Smartest Person.
Play of the Week: The title belongs to Survivor’s Reed Kelly. Not for his plot to have Jon Misch ousted, but for the splits he showcased after winning Immunity.
Quote of the Week: “This is better than eating all the ice cream in the world.” MasterChef Junior’s Abby said about the competition.