SAN DIEGO, November 25, 2013 – Dancing With The Stars fans are one step closer to finding out who will win the Season 17 Mirror Ball Trophy. After performing three routines and adding in the previous week’s fan votes, the fourth place couple was named at the end of Monday’s show.
Who went home: Amber Riley, Bill Engvall, Corbin Bleu, or Jack Osbourne? If you’d like to know, scroll to the end of our review and we will end the suspense right away.
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.
In the first dance, couples repeated a routine performed earlier in the season the judges believe the star can improve upon over his or her first performance.
Bill Engvall and Emma Slater repeated their Viennese Waltz. It was a lovely performance but there were still a few timing problems. Corbin Blue and Karina Smirnoff performed their Quickstep which had slight synchrnization issues. Both received the same scores they did originally, 24 points for Bill and Emma and 27 points for Corbin and Karina.
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke danced their Jive, which originally received 27 points. Jack lost a few steps, which seemed due to nerves. The pair received 24 points for the routine.
Amber Riley and Derek Hough were the only couple to improve their score for their Charleston. It was far sharper and more in sync than their original attempt. The judges loved it and gave it a perfect score of 30 points.
In the second round, the couples danced a Samba relay with each pair dancing for a different portion of the same song, “No Scrubs” performed live by 90s group TLC. It’s billed as a way for fans to compare skills side by side, but in reality it’s a way to allow the judges to boost a particular competitor and kill a little more time.
No surprises here. Corbin and Karina “won” this round, with five points. In descending order were Amber and Derek with four points; Jack and Cheryl with three points, and Bill and Emma with two points.
But these were all just warm up acts for the freestyle routines, where the competitors can pick any music, dance in any combination of styles. They can add supporting or backup dancers, props, special effects, and other elements. The pros have to play it smart with routines that show off their star’s greatest strengths while appealing to the judges and the fans at the same time.
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff channelled Michael Jackson in a routine set to “Smooth Criminal” with an assist from Jackson choreographer Travis Payne. Other than some superb moonwalks, it seemed that Corbin Bleu could have done the same routine the first week of the show. The judges praised the combination of iconic Jackson moves with ballroom moves, and gave it a perfect score of 30 points.
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke did Fred and Ginger proud with their rendition of “Top Hat” danced as a Quickstep in classic tails as his proud family cheered him on. It was a showstopper than showed how far this raw beginning has come in three months. Judge Bruno Tonioli called it a “showstopper.” The judges rewarded their effort with a perfect score of 30 points.
Derek Hough put Amber Riley in front of a corps of professional dancers and she was every bit their equal in a sensational modern routine. It showed off her excellent synchronization and upper body movement. It also received a perfect score of 30 points.
Bill and Emma performed an Indiana Jones “Raiders of the Lost Ark” themed dance full of strong simple moves, great lifts, and the smart use of the infamous Indy whip as a key prop. It embodied everything the fans love about Bill Engvall’s stay on the show. They earned 25 points for the routine.
They ended their season on a high note as their improbable ride came to an end. Bill and Emma were named the fourth place couple and eliminated from the show. “It proves there is a God, because I don’t think I could make one more dance,” Bill joked. He thanked all of the fans who had voted for him throughout the season.
It was the right result with the truly deserving couples remaining. No matter who wins, each couple will make a worthy Season 17 champion.
The three remaining couples will perform one final routine during Tuesday night’s Season Finale. The songs were chosen for them by their competitors. Bill and Emma picked Quickstep/Samba for Amber and Derek; Jack and Cheryl picked Foxtrot/Cha Cha for Corbin and Karina; and Corbin and Karina picked Paso and Salsa for Jack and Cheryl.
On Tuesday’s show, the entire cast returns including the eliminated Bill Engvall, 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. Guest performances including Lady Antebellum, Enrique Iglesias and Ylvis.
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.
The scores from Monday:
Amber Riley and Derek Hough
Charleston: 10/10/10 = 30 points (higher than original score)
Samba Relay: 4 points
Freestyle: 10/10/10 = 30 points
TOTAL: 64 points
Voting # 1-800-868-3407
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff
Quickstep: 9/9/9 = 27 points (same as original score)
Samba Relay: 5 points
Freestyle: 10/10/10 = 30 points
TOTAL: 62 points
Voting # 1-800-868-3406
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke
Jive: 8/8/8 = 24 points (lower than original score)
Samba Relay: 3 points
Freestyle: 10/10/10 = 30 points
TOTAL: 57 points
Voting # 1-800-868-3402
Bill Engvall and Emma Slater
Viennese Waltz: 8/8/8 = 24 points (same as original score)
Samba Relay: 2 points
Freestyle: 8/9/8 = 25 points
TOTAL: 51 points
My original prediction stands. Amber Riley deserves to win based on tonight’s performance and her season. Though he didn’t dance perfectly tonight, the fans love an underdog and love seeing someone without dance or performing experience succeed. Jack Osbourne remains my pick and prediction to win the Mirror Ball Trophy Tuesday night.
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: Season 17 Finale” airs Tuesday, November 25 at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time on the ABC Television Network. Note the later starting time on Tuesday.
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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