STEP OFF: DANCING's Final Three Ladies Vie for the ALL STAR Title

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Whether or not DANCING WITH THE STARS is your guilty pleasure and set for a season pass on TiVo, whether it's something you hate or love or hate-to-love, this season is essentially over. Tonight is the final performance episode of DANCING WITH THE STARS: ALL STARS, and tomorrow, America and the judges will place that glitzy trophy in a contestant's hand. For the first time in the series' history, that hand will undoubtedly be a female's.

For tonight's final round of routines, the remaining contestants, Shawn Johnson, Kelly Monaco, and Melissa Rycroft, gave two performances: a rehash of a routine from earlier in the season (though all three chose their 'iconic' dance from week three,) and a freestyle dance so super-sized, so circus-like, so over-the-top that it would make the artists in Cirque du Soleil cry all of that clown makeup right off.

So let's get down to it and find out where each lady stands going into tomorrow's finale:


Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 30/30 + 29/30 = 60/60
Week 3's 'Iconic' Dance: Samba
Rycroft's rehash of her samba from the third week of performances was three things: clean, undoubtedly more finely performed, and so sharp her perfectly placed arms could slice right through the revamped (read: extra glitzy) mirrorball trophy. It also cut through Carrie Ann's nonsense and she was rewarded with three perfect 10s.
Carrie Ann: "Fabulous."
Bruno: "[You are] a Brazilian Bombshell."
Score: 30/30

Freestyle:
Rycroft danced barefoot. In a white dress. She might as well have been some tree-dwelling, woodland bride except that she somehow made this entire contemporary routine - set to a Beyonce song (odd choice) - anything but perfect. And the scores reflect it.
Carrie Ann: "Freestyle. Jackpot."
Bruno & Len: essentially speechless.
Score: 30/30

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 29.5/30 + 29.5/30 = 59/60
Week 3 'Iconic' Dance: Paso Doble
The first time Monaco performed this paso doble, she received a 27 - a reasonably high score for a dance in the third week. After round two, there's no doubt this has become her finest, most technically perfected performance. And regardless if she looked like she tried to run away from Chmerkovskiy right in the middle of the routine - yes, a mishap - you just sort of have to overlook it. As did the judges (minus one), who award Monaco her first 10s of the season.
Len: "Your best dance to date. Well done."
Carrie Ann: of course she pointed out the mishap. Which is equally surprising as it is great: the judges could stand to embrace a little bitter anger on DANCING.
Score: 29.5/30

Freestyle:
Okay, naturally, every viewer is going to relate the rumored hook-up between Monaco and Chmerkovskiy to their Dirty Dancing themed freestyle set to "I've Had the Time of My Life." But I mean, can't two people just go out on a stage and perform an unoriginal, sappy-sap routine that was, admit it, only mildly impressive?
Bruno: ""Patrick (Swayze) is smiling on you."
Carrie Ann: "You told us a happy ending to a beautiful love story."
Score: 29.5/30

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 27/30 + 30/30 = 57/60
Week 3's 'Iconic' Dance: Quickstep
The first time Johnson performed the routine, she "broke the hold," or in layman's terms, "broke the rules." She got in trouble the first time, and though this week's redo had just as much energy - it brought just as much wrath from the judges.
Carrie Ann: "It's a fan favorite...but I'm sad you didn't choose to follow the rules. The points do matter. It's basically the same thing I saw last time - I'm a little disappointed."
Score: 27/30

Freestyle:
DANCING WITH THE STARS wouldn't be DANCING WITH THE STARS without some kind of outrageous, dramatic, though in case kind of really awesome, surprise. The U.S. women's gymnastics team, including Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Weber took the stage with Johnson for her and Hough's acrobatic routine. And the performance that simultaneously blended Olympic athleticism with Johnson's natural, fleet-footEd Grace absolutely paid off.
Bruno:"Fierce, flawless, exciting, explosive brilliance!"
Len: "Gold medal!"
Score: 30/30

With the final round of performances done, and Johnson, who BroadwayWorld readers believe will win the competition (you can verify that claim here), at the bottom of tonight's all-female leaderboard, it's up to America and their prolific text-votes to determine which gal gets the prize.

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