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


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

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

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Tyler Peterson Tyler is one of BroadwayWorld's lead News Desk Editors, covering breaking Broadway and theatre news daily. He received a pair of BAs in Public Relations and Creative Writing from Loyola University Chicago, while working part-time for BWW on evenings, weekends, and occasionally during classes. He has also been involved in the Chicago theatre industry, working in media relations and publicity with Margie Korshak, Inc.