SAN DIEGO, November 24, 2013 – The Mirror Ball Trophy will find a new home this week with either Amber Riley, Bill Engvall, Corbin Bleu, or Jack Osbourne as the winner of Season 17 of “Dancing With The Stars.” The two-part finale begins Monday, November 25, with the final competition dance and crowning of the winner on Tuesday, November 26. It is the first two-night week of the season.
Each couple will perform two dance routines Monday night. In the first dance, couples repeat a routine performed earlier in the season the judges believe the star can improve upon over his or her first performance. The couples will dance to a different section of the same song used the first time.
In the second round, the couples will dance a Samba relay. Each pair will dance for a different portion of the same song, “No Scrubs” performed live by 90s group TLC.
The third and final dance performed on Monday is a freestyle routine, the highlight of the season for many fans. There are few rules for the performance. Couples can pick any music, dance in any combination of styles. They can add supporting or backup dancers, props, special effects, and other elements.
This is where smart choices and choreography that shows off the individual strengths of the competitors can make or break the star’s chances of winning. Cheryl Burke killed Gilles Marini’s chances of winning when they performed to “Flashdance,” a horrible mistake. Longtime fans are still shaking their heads over Marie Osmond’s Chucky-doll freestyle.
The three pros must put together a routine with enough dance content and technical skills to impress the judges, while still being crowd pleasing enough to energize fans to vote, and vote often.
At the end of Monday night, one of the four remaining couples will be eliminated based on the previous weeks’ viewer votes, combined with the judges’ scores from Monday night.
The three remaining couples will perform one final routine during Tuesday night’s Season Finale. Their competitors will choose their songs on the Monday show. Couples get 24 hours to prepare a routine for the judges fusing two very different dance styles to the same song.
Since it’s a two hour show, it will be filled with guest performances by artists including Lady Antebellum, Enrique Iglesias and Ylvis; and a look back with the entire cast inlcuding Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Brant Daugherty, Keyshawn Johnson, Christina Milian, Bill Nye, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Leah Remini and Valerie Harper, who will dance with partner Tristan MacManus to “What a Wonderful World” performed by singer Colbie Caillat. Keep some tissues handy for this one.
At the end of the night, the public vote from Monday night will be combined with the judges’ scores from both nights to crown the Season 17 Champion.
Who will win Season 17 of DWTS? Our prediction
Who will win? “Glee” star Amber Riley and Corbin Bleu are likely favorites to win the Mirror Ball Trophy. Las Vegas oddsmakers in Las Vegas agree, giving Corbin even odds and putting Amber at 5/4 odds. Corbin is the most talented competitor for sheer physical skills, but he doesn’t always have the best technical form. Amber Riley is the best performer and technician but she has been hampered by a knee injury. Amber and partner Derek Hough have devoted fans who vote in droves, which may be their key to beating Corbin and partner Karina Smirnoff.
But don’t be surprised if the underdog wins. Jack Osbourne has shown the greatest improvement over the course of the season and could be peaking at just the right time. For many fans, he’s what the show is really about: taking someone with no previous dance experience and teaching them to be a ballroom dancer. His personal story about living with multiple sclerorsis (MS) is legitimately impressive and inspiring. Jack has moments of sheer briliance on the dance floor and the judges have given him the perfect scores to prove it. It’s exciting to see him succeed.
Partner Cheryl Burke has won twice before, and needs to be smart about creating a freestyle routine that shows off Jack’s strongest skills, his posture and partnering. If she creates a Gene Kelly sort of routine for him, he’ll shine.
Jack also has a secret weapon rooting for him: his famous family members. His father Ozzy Osbourne posted this video on Sunday urging fans to vote for Jack:
The big question is whether Bill Engvall’s fans will provide yet another improbable save on Monday to put him into Tuesday’s finals. Bill is the most unlikely crowd pleaser ever to hit the DWTS ballroom floor; he and pro Emma Slater know they are still standing due to fan support, not dance skills. But many viewers love seeing Bill give it his all and his sheer joy at being on the show. They imagine themselves in his shoes and they love him for it.
Our prediction: In an upset, Jack Osbourne wins Season 17 of Dancing With The Stars.
Whatever happens, it’s sure to be an exciting show that’s pure entertainment.
The assignments on Monday night at the time of publication:
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff
Samba Relay and Freestyle
Voting # 1-800-868-3406
Bill Engvall and Emma Slater
Samba Relay and Freestyle
Voting # 1-800-868-3409
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke
Jive – Dancing Third
Samba Relay and Freestyle - Dancing 7th
Voting # 1-800-868-3402
Amber Riley and Derek Hough
Samba Relay and Freestyle
Voting # 1-800-868-3407
Fans can vote via phone for one hour only afer the end of the show in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook will be open for 24 hours beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and closing at the same time on Tuesday.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Monday, November 25 at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time on the ABC Television Network.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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