It’s anybody’s mirror ball, as the 12th season of Dancing with the Stars prances to a suspenseful onclusion tonight (9 p.m., 6ABC).
Last night all three remaining couples gave their supporters reasons to cheer.
Chelsea Kane and her partner Mark Ballas kicked off the show with a samba that had judge Carrie Ann Inaba evoking Buster Poindexter: “Hot, hot, hot!” 29 points
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy followed with a more sedate samba that didn’t wow judge Bruno Tonioli. 27
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson quickstepped their way to a 29 with Len Goodman the holdout.
That was followed by one of the best freestyle rounds in the show’s history. Kane’s acrobatic Latin-tinged number earned a perfect 30.
Alley performed in a black leotard that showed off her slimmed-down figure. She has reportedly lost 30 pounds during the intensive 10 weeks of dancing. This was her most kinetic outing yet, including a cartwheel. 27
Ward capped off the night with a thoroughly impressive routine (see video, below) that had him take to the dance floor in a drum major outfit. The lifts in particular were outstanding. 30
So Ward and Kane finished the night tied with 59 and Alley was within stalking distance at 54.
Who wins? The smart money says Hines. Energetic, likable and totally committed to the competition. Sympathy votes for Kym Johnson’s courage in fighting through a neck injury sustained in rehearsal. Plus athletes usually fare well on DWTS.
Kane may be the most technically proficient dancer, the only contestant who was able to match her pro partner step for step. Maybe too Barbie perfect to carry the viewer vote?
Alley is clearly a crowd favorite due to her self-deprecating sense of humor and the fact that she has worked her tail off, improving almost every week. During last night’s show, the studio audience booed lustily after the less-than-perfect judges’ scores.
Reporters in attendance said that one woman gave Goodman a loud dressing-down during the commercial break. Things got so rowdy that back on air, Bergeron referred to the crowd as “the world’s best-dressed ugly mob.”
Alley may be the oldest and least lithe finalist but she is indisputably the people’s choice.
In Goodman's words: "This competition is still anyone's to win."
So who do you think prevails tonight?