Dancing with the Stars

2005, TV Show

Dancing with the Stars Episode: "Dancing With the Stars"

Season 12, Episode 18
Episode Synopsis: The three remaining couples perform two dances, a judges' choice and a freestyle, in the 10th and final week of performances for the 12th season.
Original Air Date: May 23, 2011

Dancing with the Stars Episode Recap: Monday, May 23, 2011 Season 12, Episode 18

It's finals time! The top three face off on Day 1 of the Dancing with the Stars final with a Judges' Pick and the much-anticipated freestyle routines.

Here we go! (I love one-hour shows!) We get right into it with the Judges' Pick routines — dances that the three stooges felt the couples could improve on. I'm not sure how I feel about them giving Chelsea and Kirstie the samba. Why not just give all three of the samba then? We know how much you love repeating dances (cough, cha-cha, cough).

Judges' Pick
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas: samba
Carrie Ann drops in for rehearsals. She says they picked the samba for them because she wants more sensuality from Chelsea, so she shows Chelsea how to swivel her hips the way only a true Fly Girl can. This is definitely an un-perky samba, but I'm not sure if it's more sensual, especially with Chelsea's pursed fish lips. Once again, she is technically on point with lots of rhythm, but there's a lack of chemistry between them. Honestly, this is doing nothing for me. Len quotes "Every Breath You Take," but says he's not keen on the "fraying arms section." Bruno calls her an ultra-sexy bombshell. Carrie Ann calls it hot, hot, hot.
Score: 29

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: samba
Kirstie gets a visit from Bruno, who chastises her on her "dainty" hands in her first samba and tells her to be the "queen of the carnival." Kirstie starts out with her forte — shimmying — and rocks some samba rolls. This is a decidedly different samba from Chelsea's — softer, flirtier and more fluid. Kirstie's lines are cleaner, and her movement and passes are great, but she's not as sharp as Chelsea is. The choreography is also simpler than Chelsea's. Bruno says it's "full of womanhood," but hates that she looked at the floor. Carrie Ann loves her "ooze factor." Len says it has a naturalness to it.
Score: 27

Hines Ward and Kym Johnson: quickstep
That leaves Hines with Len, who brings in Terrible Towel to encourage him to get his feet sharper. Kym is still rehearsing in a neck brace. Get those sympathy votes while you can! Hines' footwork is crisper and very light, though he seems hesitant on some kicks here and there. The frame and hold, however, are top notch. It's a typical Hines charmer that lights up the floor, but I'm not sure it's a runaway winner here. Carrie Ann says it was fun. Len says it wasn't quite there. Bruno says it was like a watching a mega-production on Broadway.
Score: 29

Freestyle Round
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas
Chelsea says Mark's freestyles have "always been off the charts." Hmm, how soon we forget his freestyle with Bristol, huh, Chels? Mark is going back to the "fresh" and "edgy" choreography to emphasize their youthfulness. And nothing says youth like a lime green glitter suit, glo sticks and Tron-like shoes. Corporate synergy! We're dancing in the dark, guys! This is actually a very sly ploy: Turn off the lights so they can't see what you're doing! There's lots of twirling and flipping of Chelsea, and of course, over-exaggeration by Mark. At one point, the lights on Chelsea's shoes and glo sticks go out. I think Mark's behind this so his are the only ones glowing. It's a high-energy number — Latin and hip-hop fusion. But they don't really make good use of the floor, are out of sync and lost timing on a few of the lifts. The routine also doesn't showcase how great of a dancer Chelsea is, just how much stamina she has. Len says it was fantastic. Bruno calls it electrifying. Carrie Ann pulls a Bruno and busts out some hip-thrusting. Meanwhile, Brooke apologizes for the lights going out. I really hopes she means on Chelsea's shoes and sticks, and not in the studio.
Score: 30
Total: 59

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Maks is throwing in lifts and flips because they're expected in the freestyle and he believes age is just a number. Have to say, Kirstie's looking good in rehearsals doing those cartwheels. They start off really subdued before getting into a disco-fied version of "Perfect." She lands the cartwheel and engages in a few more gymnastic theatrics. The routine doesn't pop like the usual freestyles, but the emotion and inspiration of it are clearly evident. Bruno says he would never thought Kirstie would attempt to do lifts 10 weeks ago. Carrie Ann says she's the poster child for life as it should be lived at 60. Len loves the elements of the rumba and the cha-cha: "You've got to risk it if you want the biscuit." There's a joke there somewhere, but I'm not going to make it.
Score: 27
Total: 54

Hines Ward and Kym Johnson

Their routine is going to be an homage to college bands and halftime shows, both of which Hines has missed out on because of football. Their song is from Drumline, aka the only Nick Cannon movie I've ever seen. Think Mariah's seen it too? I digress. This is definitely the best freestyle of the night, which honestly isn't really saying much. Is it just me or have the freestyles the past few seasons been really underwhelming? There's no jaw-dropping "wow" factor behind any of them now. That being said, Hines' is the most dynamic and exuberant with new and difficult choreography and lifts. He is, naturally, selling all of it and Kym's game for all the flips. It's not as awesome as the freestyles of yesteryear, but it's the most crowd-pleasing of the three. Carrie Ann says the lifts were insane. Len says he just gave it his all. Bruno says they pulled all the stops.
Score: 30
Total: 59

So that means Chelsea and Hines are tied with 59 at the top, while Kirstie's five points behind. But there's still one more dance tomorrow: their favorite dance of the season.

What did you think? Have the freestyles let you down the past few seasons? Should we set our expectations lower? Did anyone nail both dances? Is it a two-person fight between Chelsea and Hines? Can Kirstie make a comeback? Are you disappointed she didn't get even one 10? Who do you think will win tomorrow?

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It's finals time! The top three face off on Day 1 of the Dancing with the Stars final with a Judges' Pick and the much-anticipated freestyle routines.
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Premiered: June 01, 2005, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Celebrities are paired with professionals in a ballroom-dance competition, with one pair typically eliminated each week.



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