After nine grueling weeks of harsh competition, injuries and hours in rehearsal, there are only three dancers left standing.
Last night on the all-female finale of Dancing With The Stars–the first the show has ever had–Kelly Monaco, Melissa Rycroft and Shawn Johnson performed two dances in hopes to win America’s votes and take home the coveted Mirrorball trophy.
In round one, the finalists were asked to choose their favorite routine from this season and perform it one last time.
As the only couple to make it into the finals without ever receiving a perfect ten from the judges, Kelly and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy were marked the underdogs of the competition. But the pair certainly haven’t given up the fight.
Rehashing their feisty Paso Doble from week three, the inseparable duo started off strong with a routine Bruno called “driven by desire” while Len exclaimed that it was her “best dance to date.” Overall Kelly set the bar for the other finalists, and eventually got her tens with a score of 29.5. Though she was near perfection last night, she promised her fans she would keep fighting until the very end.
Kelly Monaco (@kellymonaco1) November 27, 2012
Melissa–who entered the finale as the only All-Star to have never won the coveted Mirrorball trophy–overcame a strenuous season, battling her own serious injury, along with enduring her partner Tony Dovolani’s back problems.
The duo’s second take of their samba from week three was even better than the first time around with Bruno calling her a “Brazilian Bombshell” and Carrie Ann complementing her envious abs and “brilliant” solo. She managed to took the lead with a perfect thirty.
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough have been known to bend the rules throughout this All-Star season and the couple took a major risk in the first round. Opting for entertainment over technique they took a second stab at their infamous Quickstep from week three.
Filled with fantastic lifts and fast footwork, the judges were impressed with the routine, but called Shawn out for breaking the cardinal rules of the quickstep: don’t break holds and no lifts. She ended round one at the bottom of the leader board with a score of 27, but Derek defended their decision to redo one of their favorite dances of the season.
Wow wow wow !!!! What a night . So proud of Shawn . We danced all season for the fans and wanted to end the same way . Love you all—
Derek Hough (@derekhough) November 27, 2012
Round two, the finalists took full creative control for their “supersized” freestyles choosing the choreography, music, costumes, and any special re-enforcements to help bring their dances alive.
Kelly and Val did a Dirty Dancing-inspired routine to the film’s iconic tune “I Had The Time Of My Life” with the help from the DWTS dance troupe. Kelly unraveled gracefully down from the ceiling on silk cords as Val serenaded her with his violin (who knew this was his hidden talent?) before she jumped into his arms for the signature air lift.
The couple’s ambiguous chemistry shined even brighter according to Bruno, who told them “Patrick is smiling on you,” as they received another 29.5 to add to their final score. But fans were still left wondering whether their chemistry is actually for real.
Official DWTS (@DancingABC) November 27, 2012
Melissa and Tony followed up with a contemporary routine featuring high risk moves and high production value that showed off the reality star’s range as a dancer.
The slow number showcased plenty of back-bending moves and lifts as aerial dancers in twirling cages added to the routine’s theatrics. All the risk paid off as Carrie Ann called her routine a “freestyle jackpot” and left Len almost speechless as the judges awarded her with another perfect score.
Playing catch-up this round, Shawn enlisted the help of the ‘fierce five’ Olympic gymnastics team for her freestyle to help boost her low score from the first dance.
Shawn may have disappointed the judges in round one, but she definitely took the gold with her supersized routine complete with impressive aerobatics and sensational tricks that Len called “totally unexpected.” Despite earning a perfect score, Shawn still lands at the bottom of the leader board with her combined total.
Tonight, the three finalists take on either a jive, cha-cha or samba for their final instant dance before the Mirrorball trophy is handed out to the ultimate All-Star.
Who do you think deserves to take home the blinged out trophy?
Melissa Rycroft: 60
Kelly Monaco: 59
Shawn Johnson: 57
– Britt Bickel, 94.7 The Wave
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