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Dancing with the Stars: Season 8 Finals

And then there were three.

Yep, we’re down to the finals of season 8 of Dancing with the Stars. I’m in the camp that says Gilles is the front runner, but he is going to have stiff competition from Melissa and Shawn. This really could be anyone’s trophy, still. As a reminder, we get to watch all three stars dance to the same song, then we get the famous freestyle that can often make or break the stars.

The face off will be the Paso Doble and they will be dancing to Pink’s “So What.” Each judge visited one contestant to give them some pointers during rehearsals.

And I didn’t quite understand the format for this dance. All three will be dancing during the same song. Kinda like the team dances only they will be judged individually. Very interesting.

All three couples start on the stage, but after a combined opening, Shawn & Mark come down to the floor for their solo. It looks good, but Shawn doesn’t look like she’s enjoying herself. And it wasn’t the attack face she had last week either. She just looks like she’s bored. Len thought it was much more exciting than her last time. Bruno called her a great technician. Carrie Ann said every movement is perfect, but the emotion wasn’t quite there.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 10 Total – 28

Melissa & Tony are next. She definitely seems more aggressive than in the past. I think Carrie Ann helped her with that. I think they got a tad off at one point and it looked like they had to scramble to catch up. That’s going to hurt. Len also found the slight mistake, but said it was more convincing than her last Paso. Bruno praised her growth. Carrie Ann thought she hit things perfectly.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 9 Bruno – 10 Total – 29

Gilles & Cheryl are last. Yep, it’s got the drama and the right mix of emotion to it. There’s a reason I think Gilles should take it, and we’ve just seen it. Len found this one much less hectic than his last one. Bruno called him a leading man. Carrie Ann said she expects perfection from his Latin dances, and she got it.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 10 Bruno – 10 Total – 30

After the solos, they did a great combined ending that was perfectly dramatic.

And now we get to the freestyles for this season.

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas – Okay, what is with those costumes? They are wearing what look like black leather clothes and jeweled masks. Right away, I’m not a fan. But they do start to win me over with the cartwheels they did hooked together. And then they take off the masks and jackets, and I’m fully on board. They’ve got lots of energy and fun moves. I loved the lift. And it isn’t all gymnastics tricks but actually shows lots of dancing. True, there are some flips and what nots, but it is so much fun. This is why I said Gilles has stiff competition. Bruno said she was going for gold. Carrie Ann said she was adorable while meeting the creativity and precision they wanted. Len said he loved it, specifically praising the speed and precision.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 10 Bruno – 10 (Although he claimed it was an 11) Total – 30

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani – While practicing the routine, which Tony is putting everything he can into to make up for season 2’s freestyle, Melissa hits him in the face. But they seem to be over that now. This is very hip hop inspired, but I am loving it because it is lots of fun. They put lots of tricks into it, but they seem to be pulling it off. I’m not seeing too much wrong with it at all. Carrie Ann praised her new attack attitude, but found the dance disjointed. Len didn’t get it (not too surprised since it was more hip hop than elegant). Bruno said it was technically good but agreed with wasn’t as perfect as it should have been.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 27

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke – They go with a slow song for the freestyle. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen that. Okay, they did speed up after the intro. We’ve got another fun dance. It is the slowest tempo, but it fits Gilles. Despite his hurt shoulder, they’ve got some nice tricks here as well. I’d say it was the least showy of the bunch, but it was good. Len called it high energy and slick, saying he was a real dancer. Bruno said it was a great performance, but he expecting more dancing. Carrie Ann thought it was an odd choice.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 10 Bruno – 9 Total – 28

So, the leader board for tonight looks like this:
1. Shawn – 58
1. Gilles – 58
3. Melissa – 56

Tomorrow night, we get lots of filler with a two hour finale. Of course, the couples will dance one for time for judge’s score. But tonight is the last time we get to vote.

While I am rooting for Gilles, it is any one’s game, so it will be interesting to see how things unravel tomorrow night.

I’ll see you then.