Dancing With The Stars 2012: First all-woman final Monday, 8 p.m.

The Mirror Ball Trophy is Shawn Johnson's to lose, but can Melissa Rycroft pull off an upset? Or will Kelly Monaco's fans help her win it? Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, November 25, 2012 –  The Mirror Ball Trophy will find a new home this week with either Shawn Johnson, Melissa Rycroft, or Kelly Monaco as the winner of the All-Stars Season 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. 

Each of the couples will perform two dances Monday night. First is a dance chosen by the couple from previous performances this season, one the judges believe will show improvement over the course of competition. The couples are allowed to include new music and new choreography.

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy have chosen their paso doble, which scored 27 points. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovoloni selected their samba, which also scored 27 points. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough will perform their quickstep to “Hey Pachuco.” Carrie Ann Inaba called it the best dance she’s ever seen performed on DWTS. Ever. So how can Shawn and Derek bring it back? Because it only scored 26.5 points due to rule violations about lifts. Shawn and Derek are taking their chances with the judges if they don’t get rid of the rule breaking moves. But even if they don’t the audience will go wild. Scores will likely be so close that fan votes will make the difference. The other two dances won’t compare to this crowd pleaser.

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough plan on bringing back their quickstep from week 3. Photo: ABC/Adam Taylor.

The second dance is the highlight of the season for many fans, the freestyle dance. Each couple can choose whatever music they like and there are no rules for the performance at all. This is where the choices and not the skills 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 need to play to their star’s strengths, make it challenging but not so difficult that there are any obvious mistakes, and not do “too much messing about” as Len Goodman is fond of saying. The dances need to be wow the fans so they will be energized and vote.

Shawn and Derek’s freestyle will feature an appearance by the Fierce Five U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastic team. Derek posted a photo on Twitter featuring his best “not impressed” face. Melissa Rycroft has posted photos of her bruised legs; Val Chmerkovskiy tweeted the freestyle routine would let fans know “what @kellymonaco1 and I are all about.”

The Fierce Five U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team will make an appearance during Shawn Johnson’s freestyle routine with Derek Hough Monday night on Dancing With The Stars. Hough posted this photo on Instagram.

After the one-hour performance show on Monday, the couples will come back and dance one last routine on Tuesday night, the “24 Hour Challenge.” Competitors will be given music right after Monday night’s show, and must then come up with a dance of their choice. The routine will be scored on the same 30-point system as the other dances this season, so the judges get the final say. 

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy will dance their paso doble for the returning dance. Photo: ABC/Adam Taylor.

Who will win? Kelly Monaco seems the long shot. She hasn’t gotten a single perfect score with partner Val Chmerkovskiy, and she’s often been at the bottom of the leaderboard. Her loyal “General Hospital” fans and Val’s many fans have a well-organized voting effort that has kept them on the show.  Her inclusion in the final likely edged out the far more proficient dancer Apolo Ohno, perhaps the most improved dancer from his original season, and he was good enough then to win Season 4.

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough are without question the most physicially fit, athletic team to ever hit the dance floor. Shawn has always had the skills, but she was a teenger when she first won in season 8. Her maturity as a woman coupled with Hough’s superb choreography gives them every chance of taking home the trophy. This is Hough’s swan song on the show and he’d like to go out a winner. You can never discount the drive of an Olympic gold medalist. They know how to bring it when it counts most.

Melissa Rycroft is the only All-Star in the finals who is not a former champion. Her partner Tony Dovoloni has been on every season of the show and he’s never won either. This couple has the ideal blend of dance skills, chemistry as a couple, and connection with the audience. They have won over a lot of fans with their exuberance and wonderful performances. Never has a couple on the show had more dazzling smiles. They seem to enjoy every minute on the dance floor, and they are hungry to win.

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovoloni have won the hearts of many fans with their skill and charm. Will they finally get their first Mirror Ball Trophy? Photo: ABC/Adam Taylor.

It’s hard to bet against Shawn Johnson to take home her second Mirror Ball Trophy. But it would be a thrill to see Melissa and Tony win it all. Tony deserves it after seasons dancing with Kate Gosselin, Wendy Williams, and Martina Navratilova.  

Whatever happens, it’s sure to be an exciting, fun to watch show. Make it even more fun by joining our Communities live chat at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Don’t be late: the show is only one hour long this week.

“Dancing With the Stars” returns for the final week of the competition on Monday night, November 26, 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, on the ABC Television Network.

Voting Numbers:

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovoloni
Voting #: 1-800-868-3406 or text 3406

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy
Voting #: 1-800-868-3411 or text 3411

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough
Voting #: 1-800-868-3402 or text 3402


Join Communities ball room dance expert Gayle Falkenthal and TV Den’s Lisa King for tonight’s live chat and offer your thoughts as to who is winning or losing, and who will take home the Mirror Ball Trophy Tuesday night!


Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.


Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.  



Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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