On tonight's performance finale, the finale three couples will take to the dance floor and try to do what they need to do to take home the mirrorball trophy.
First up are Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas, with the samba as their judges' choice dance. Carrie Ann Inaba helps her work out some of the issues she had previously and show how her dancing has matured. She seems to have taken at least some of the advice, thought I do wish she and Mark weren't dressed the same color as the dance floor -- that makes them blend in some, and that's annoying. Len Goodman says he liked what he was watching, though he didn't love the flailing arms section. Bruno Tonioli calls her an ultrasexy bombshell with a firecracker of a performance. Carrie Ann says it was "hot hot hot," and that she listened and went the extra mile. Scores: 10-9-10, for a 29/30.
Bruno visits Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy to advise them on their samba. He tells her she needs to work on her hands and her extension -- and to take her "moments" in the dance. She agrees that she needs to do that, but during the dance, it doesn't seem to stick. Any time she has these turns and moments of extension where she could kind of pause and work the audience, she is mostly looking down and she looks like she's thinking hard about the next step. That said, I don't know that I would have noticed that without Bruno talking about it -- the dance is still fun. Bruno says it was softer, rich and full of lively pleasures. He does say at times she was still looking at the floor instead of playing to the arena. Carrie Ann says it was a really great samba. Len says it was a different style, but still had a lovely naturalness, great choreography, though it could have been a bit crisper. Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30.
Last up are Hines Ward and Kym Johnson. Their judges' choice is the quickstep and Len visits them to give some advice about getting his feet sharper. I'll have to let him say whether Hines managed to achieve this. The dance itself is ridiculously adorable and super-fast, albeit a little chaotic. Carrie Ann says it was so much fun and the whole audience follows him like he's going for a touchdown. She adds that he makes her forget she's supposed to be judging. Len says this was a vast improvement, but it's not quite there yet. He tells Hines to come back with the wow factor in the freestyle. Bruno says it was like watching a mega-production on Broadway. Scores: 10-9-10, for a 29/30.
Chelsea and Mark are first with the freestyle. It's fast and Latin-tinged and full of tricks. They have a part where they lights go down, and flashing lights on their feet and hands illuminate them, but about halfway through, Chelsea's lights stop working. It's still a ton of fun. They wanted it to be the best freestyle ever, but there are others that definitely stick out in my mind more. Len says says it was so full-on and so full of attack, he loved it. Bruno says it was electrifying and that they looked like they were plugged into the national grid. He thought it pushed the limits and advanced dance. Carrie Ann says she can't find the words for what she's thinking, but she busts a move for 17 to communicate her feelings. Scores: 10-10-10, for a 30/30 and a total 59/60.
Kirstie and Maks decide that they have to do a lot of lifts and tricks in order to compete. So their dance is filled with lifts, but they just seem so fraught that it's not that fun to watch. Also, wardrobe must hate her because she starts out in this brown dress that looks like a monk's robe and then rips it off to reveal a high-waisted skintight jumpsuit that does not do her any favors in the belly and bum areas. The song goes into double-time during the wardrobe transition, and the feeling of chaos multiplies. Bruno tells her that 10 weeks ago he wouldn't have thought of her even attempting the things she did tonight. He says some of the lifts could have been smoother, but "respect, girl, respect." Carrie Ann says the dance embodies her as the poster child for life as it should be lived at 60. Len says he say elements of rumba and cha cha, and she took risks. He thought she was great and commends them. Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30 and a total of 54/60.
Hines and Kym try to recreate a halftime show with a song from Drumline. He says he never gets to see the halftime show since he's always in the locker room. Their dance is a kind of funny, odd amalgam, but it's definitely entertaining. However, if he was going to start out being a drum major and march across the stage for a while to start it out, he really needed someone to help him learn how to march. (My marching-band alum husband agrees on that account.) He was just weirdly stomping. The rest of it, though, was a ton of fun (so long as I averted my eyes from the Steelers colors everywhere). I appreciated the idea and the execution. Carrie Ann says it was risky and that it wasn't really a halftime show -- "it was the whole damn Super Bowl!" She says the lifts were insane and that they went for it. Len says they more they give, the more points they take and he just gave it his all. Bruno says they pulled out all the stops and created a crowd-pleasing event. Scores: 10-10-10, for a 30/30 and a 59/60.
This is all between Hines and Chelsea, no doubt. I think Hines is going to take this thanks to being better known. I don't mean that he was worse and and going to win because of his fan base. I think they're close and his fans are going to pull him through to the win.