Backstage: What You'll See on the Finale
Dancing with the Stars, Cloris Leachman, Corky Ballas
Here's a sneak preview of the Tuesday night festivities for the season finale of Dancing with the Stars: The three remaining couples will each dance one more dance — their favorite of the season — and will be given one more set of scores from the judges. Those marks will be added to the totals from Monday night and the overall high score will determine who gets to cart off the mirrorball trophy.
According to judge Bruno Tonioli, look for Brooke and Derek to repeat their Viennese waltz. Warren and Kym will reprise their big crowd-pleaser, the hustle. And Lance and Lacey will do an encore of their high-scoring jitterbug. "I think they all did incredibly well tonight," says Tonioli. "Lance was good. Warren is irresistible. But after Brooke's turn [during the freestyle], it's like, 'Wow. Top that.'"
But there should also be extra fireworks in the form of octogenarian Cloris Leachman, who returns to the ballroom — along with the rest of the original 13 couples — to take one last spin around the floor. "We're doing the tango on Tuesday night," says her pro partner, Corky Ballas. Ballas reports that Leachman is feeling much better after coming down with a bad upper respiratory infection. "She's lost 11 pounds but she's doing great now," says Ballas. "We practiced today and she's dancing the best she ever has because she's had time to let it sink in."
Ballas says that the jaw-dropping spin he did with Leachman during their last dance, the one where he grabbed her arm and leg and sent her flying in a circle, was done "out of desperation not to get eliminated," he says. "But it didn't work." Ballas says the high-risk move, called a Flying Angel, had not been rehearsed. "It wasn't planned," he says. "I just threw it in at the last second because our last routine was so awful. She didn't remember the steps. She says she doesn't get nervous, but she does."
Leachman had threatened never to leave the ballroom even after she was voted off. "Bonnie Hunt told me that Cloris had told her that the producers said she couldn't come back," says host Tom Bergeron. "So I checked with the producers and they didn't say that. They said, 'We didn't tell her she couldn't come back. We told her she couldn't rush the stage.'"
Bergeron, by the way, is trying to get another golden oldie, Bob Barker, 84, to dance next season. "I wrote a blurb in his book, and I said, 'You should show these young chicks like Cloris how the older guys do it,'" says Bergeron. But Barker wrote back, unmoved. "He said, 'I'm a lousy dancer.'"
Read Mickey's recap of Monday night's show here.
Watch clips and full episodes of Dancing with the Stars in our Online Video Guide