Another season of "Dancing with the Stars" came to a close last night, and in a fairly ridiculous upset, Donny Osmond ended the night walking out with that wacky mirrorball trophy. Mya, who by all accounts should have walked away the champ, came in second, and Kelly Osbourne ended up in third place.
Here's the thing: It's not that Donny Osmond is a bad dancer. He worked extremely hard over the course of the season and never really had an off night. And he was certainly an underdog coming into the finale, considering how much older he was than the other finalists and how limited his costume choices were week to week (anybody who doesn't think that the scantily-clad ladies on this show don't have an advantage is sorely mistaken). But if they really wanted to reward sheer skill, you can't argue with Mya. On the other hand, Osbourne has been by far the better underdog story, having spent some time facing elimination and coming through some truly disastrous dances and at least one minor injury. The Osmond victory feels a little milquetoast, but perhaps ABC was just playing it safe following Lambertgate.
Now that the season is over, what have we learned? "Dancing with the Stars" may have hit the wall this season, as the entertainment factor was wildly inconsistent from episode to episode. The stories that did emerge (especially Osbourne and the bipolar struggle of Aaron Carter) were pretty compelling, but most of the performances have either been delightful disasters or too on-the-nose. For example, was there anything compelling about Joanna Krupa? She was a pretty good (but not transcendent) dancer and didn't have much of a personality. Where was the joy in watching her every week? If this show wants to have any sort of relevance and entertainment value when it returns next spring, perhaps the script needs to be flipped, perhaps adding a more playful mix of dance styles (the super-progressive "So You Think You Can Dance" makes "Dancing with the Stars" look like a trip to the retirement home in comparison). And let's trim those results shows — last night's finale lasted two hours and featured little more than a bunch of middling returns and Osmond singing "Puppy Love." On the bright side, maybe now Mya can get back to the business of crafting slinky R&B jams.