Who will win Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars? That's the big question heading in to the two-part finale, which begins tonight at 8/7c on ABC.
Competing tonight will be Bill Engvall and Emma Slater, Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke,Derek Hough and Amber Riley, and Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. One of the four couples will be eliminated at the end of tonight's show, and the other three will perform a final routine tomorrow night before the winner is crowned.
"I think we have two completely different types of competitors," judge Carrie Ann Inaba told TVGuide.com ahead of Monday's show. "We have Corbin and Amber, who are in one class. And then you have Jack and Bill, who are totally of a different class. I think it's really interesting the way the fans have voted. I think people are really a fan of the whole idea of somebody who doesn't know how to dance really making the transformation, which is what Jack and Bill fall into."
Perhaps the only person more surprised than Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi when she and partner Sasha Farber were eliminated from Dancing with the Stars last week was Bill Engvall. Engvall and his partner, Emma Slater (who also happens to be Farber's girlfriend) were thisclose to elimination the previous week, but were spared, thanks to a glitch in the voting system that resulted in every couple being safe.
"When Nicole got bumped, I literally was walking towards...
According to veteran pro Cheryl Burke, the competition on this season of Dancing with the Stars is the stiffest she's ever seen.
"It's so competitive. There's amazing dancers, a lot of them with some dance background and a few of them with no dance background," Burke tells TVGuide.com. "This season is tough. I would say out of all the seasons, this has been definitely the most competitive. From here on out, you have no idea who's going to actually go home."
Check out our interview with Burke to see why viewers may be surprised by the routine she and partner Jack Osbourne have in store this week, and where Osbourne ranks among the other celebrities she's danced with over the years.
Dancing with the Stars returns for its 17th season Monday, after going through an overhaul this summer. In an attempt to curb the show's steadily declining ratings,Dancing has made a number of changes for the new season, including returning to a single-night format.
"Obviously it's always very challenging in ratings terms when shows mature," executive producer Conrad Green tells TVGuide.com. "I think the key is, you do need to keep innovating. You do need to keep trying new things."