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Melissa Rycroft, Shawn Johnson or Gilles Marini?

Dancing with the Stars fans tuned in to the first part of this week's finale, likely torn over who would be crowned champion. As the most even season in this competition draws to a conclusion, let's take a closer look at each tandem's routines last night...

First, there was the Paso Doble face-off; each couple did the same dance to Pink's "So What."

Johnson did her best French maid impression, as her and Mark Ballas were the cutest of the couples putting on this performance.

Rycroft stumbled a  bit during her part, unfortunately, though Bruno thought she "never looked more beautiful."

Marini and Cheryl Burke, meanwhile, wrapped up the opening numbers with ample amounts of body heat and a perfect score. The scores so far:
Shawn: 28; Melissa: 29; Gilles: 30

  • Very Cute Couple
  • Marini and Burke Pic

Leave a comment. Let us know your favorite final pairing.

Up next, the twosomes were all free to freestyle...

Johnson: There was serious flipping involved in this routine, as Shawn's gymnastic background made her a clear candidate to do a 360 in the air.
But Ballas also followed with a flip, helping the pair pull off a polished, well-choreographed and truly fun final number. Bruno wanted to award them an 11. Stupid rules.
Score: 30.

Continue Reading...

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On tonight's Dancing with the Stars performance show, the three remaining celebrities and their professional dance partners will dance the paso doble to the same song, while also performing their respective freestyle routines.

Then, tomorrow night, all three tandems return to perform their favorite routine of the season.

After that, finally, a new DWTS champion will be named on the season finale’s live results show.

  • Fine Female Finalist
  • Gilles and Cheryl Photo
  • Riding Her Partner

Click on the pics above to enlarge images of each DWTS finalist.

Follow all that? People spoke with previous winners to gauge their reaction to the current crop of contestants. Here's what they had to say:

Kristi Yamaguchi, on Gilles Marini: “Gilles’s biggest weakness is getting too excited while dancing and forgetting to pay attention to the technical details of the dances. In order for him to win, Gilles will have to pull out a crowd-pleasing freestyle with the WOW factor.”

Apolo Anton Ohno, on Shawn Johnson: "[She] has the technical side of the dances down. Now she’s got to really turn on her personality. She’s got to be animated and bubbly and showcase her goofy side this last week."

Helio Castroneves, on Melissa Rycroft: “She has habits, she was a ballerina for so long. She’s very graceful and we know she can dance. She already has the finesse, now she needs to perform to the audience even more.”

So, who do you think will win, readers?

 

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The on-screen chemistry between this season's top couples on Dancing with the Stars is evident.

But what about when the (moving) camera stops?

In this week's TV Guide Magazine, the publication takes fans behind the scenes with four of the show's most popular season eight stars: Cheryl Burke, Gilles Marini, Tony Dovolani and Melissa Rycroft.

Backstage Photo
  • Slight Touch Up
  • Backstage Chemistry

Regarding her partner's energy, Burke said:

“When the music comes on in rehearsal, he brings it up 50 percent. But then in the live show, the audience feeds him even more energy and I change the way I dance. His adrenaline is off the charts.”

Meanwhile, Tony and Melissa had a trust issue to settle, following Rycroft's public heartbreak at the hands of Jason Mesnick.

“We didn’t talk about The Bachelor until after that first rehearsal,” Rycroft said. “But the trust was established very early on - and with dances like the Lindy Hop. Do you know how many times I fell, and he would have me by a pinky toe? I was nowhere near touching the ground.”

Who do you think will be crowned Dancing with the Stars champion next week?

 

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They vied for the affection of Jason Mesnick on The Bachelor, and were both unlucky in love. Only one special young woman, Molly Malaney, won his heart.

But despite falling just shot, Jillian Harris and Melissa Rycroft captivated millions of viewers, and have come out smelling like roses just the same.

Canada native Harris is ABC’s new star of The Bachelorette, and Rycroft is a contender to win the coveted mirror-ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars.

Jillian recently declined to elaborate on her infamous hot tub scene with Jason, but she did tell People she's cheering Melissa on every step of the way.

“We are such huge supporters of each other,” Jillian Harris says of Melissa, with whom she says she became really good friends on The Bachelor.

“I’m so proud of her. I wish I could watch her more often but I’m so busy with [The Bachelorette]. But I’m definitely rooting for Melissa.”

Rycroft, who is heading into the Dancing with the Stars finale, says the feeling is mutual and that her pal will make a great Bachelorette.

“She’s one of the most genuine, down-to-earth girls I know. I absolutely adore her,” said Melissa Rycroft, who's now dating Tye Strickland.

Harris is in the final weeks of filming the new season, which premieres Monday.

Her lips are sealed regarding Bachelorette spoilers, but Jillian does promise that no matter how her search for Mr. Right goes, she won't follow Rycroft’s Dancing path.

Ever.

“I am THE worst dancer in the world,” she says.

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It may have come a week later than many fans were hoping, but Ty Murray was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars last night.

And the rodeo stalwart seemed psyched about it.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am,” Murray said after the show, laughing. “I don’t have to learn any more dances.”

Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower Dance

Of course, this doesn't mean Jewel's husband regrets trading in his chaps for sequins.

“The whole reason I did this show is because it was nice for cowboys to be represented in something so pop culture, and this show did in spades,” Murray said. “For me to be able to do this is a fantastic opportunity. You don’t realize how big something like this is until you’re on a show that 25 million people watch.”

This leaves a trio of celebs remaining to compete in the finals next week. Click on a shot of each of them performing during the semifinals below:

  • Off to the Finale
  • Semifinal Performance

Who do you think will win?

 

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

A week after Melissa Rycroft made a triumphant, perfect return from a rib injury, the final four tandems on Dancing with the Stars proved they each belonged in the semifinals.

Well, except for Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower.

Here's a rundown of each couple's routines and scores:

Rycroft and Tony Dovolani followed up last week's flawless Samba with a pair of solid, albeit unspectacular, routines.

First up, a safe Quickstep. Len Goodman referred to it as a "delight," but Bruno lamented the last of exhilaration for a semifinal dance.
Score: 28.

After reviewing Melissa's Bachelor break-up (again!), it was on to the Cha Cha for this duo. Lame music selection with the Drifters' "Save the Last Dance for Me," but Bruno rescued the routine by mentioning its "full-on thrust." Well, okay then.
Score: 27. 

Perfect Couple

Gilles Marini and Cheyl Burke were up next, and they Waltzed to a perfect 30. Goodman told the pair he was "giving [them] a sitting-down standing ovation." That's high, oxymoronic praise!
Score: 30.

Marini then went all Lil Kim on viewers. Clad in purple, he shook his booty like it was on fire. Goodman said he wished he could give the star an 11 for this Salsa, while Bruno raved: "Lil' Kim is alive and well and she's hiding in your pants!"
Score: 30.

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by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Rib injury, shmib injury!

Melissa Rycroft showed no signs of being in pain last week, returning to Dancing with the Stars and earning a perfect score of 30 for her Samba. Before taking the floor again tonight, the contestant says her fans needn't worry.

"[The injury's] definitely been manageable," Rycroft told TV Guide. "We're going on week three now, so it's definitely getting better. It's only going to get better. The patch [with medication] is working, so I'm not concerned at all."

Perfect Samba

Melissa Rycroft's outfit? Questionable. Her Samba? Flawless.

What else did former Bachelor beauty have to say about her routine?

Watch an interview she and partner Tony Dovolani gave, following last week's performance, by following this article's jump.

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Who knew there were so many rodeo fans out there?!?

A night after Ty Murray clearly put on the worst Dancing with the Stars performance, the cowboy husband of Jewel managed to stave off elimination. Instead, that dishonor fell to rapping ex-con Lil' Kim and her partner, Derek Hough.

While Hough referred to her as an "amazing soul [and] amazing spirit" soon after the show, he also admitted that his initial reaction to being paired with Kim was nothing short of sheer terror.

"I was like, I think I'm going to get shanked in the middle of a dance. I'm serious. But the second she walked in there she was like a beam of energy, so sweet and so nice. As the weeks went by, I just love her more and more and more and I'm really excited to spend some time with her without teaching her and drilling her."

As for the Lil' one, she took the surprise elimination well.

"I think this is one of the greatest experiences I've ever experienced in my life," she said.

DWTS Partners

Relive Kim and Derek's time on the show above. Click on each picture for a larger version.

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Rib injury, schmib injury!

Melissa Rycroft didn't simply return to Dancing with the Stars last night, following a week on the sidelines with a fractured rib; she came back with a perfect score!

During an evening that saw each remaining tandem perform a pair of routines, Rycroft and partner Tony Dovolani earned a solid 27 points for their Viennese Waltz.

A Beautiful Dancer

But they followed that up with the best Samba of the season. It featured a 15-second solo by Rycroft, highlighted by a shake here, a shimmy there and overflowing praise from the judges. Carrie Ann Inaba said it was "flawless," while Bruno Tonioli gushed:

"The Samba should make you happy to be alive. Your Samba makes me happy to be here watching it."

Here's a rundown of the overall scores from the night:

  • Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 57 (including one perfect 30!)
  • Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke: 56
  • Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas: 56
  • Lil' Kim and Derek Hough: 52
  • Ty Murray and Chelsie Hughtower: 46

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE'S JUMP TO WATCH MELISSA AND TONY'S SEXY SAMBA.

Continue Reading...

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Jewel may want her gone, but it doesn't sound as though Melissa Rycroft will be leaving Dancing with the Stars any time soon.

Viewers will need to wait until tonight to see if Rycroft is well enough recovered from her rib injury to perform, but the Bachelor beauty talked about fighting through the pain in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

"They're little hairline fractures that will mend together on their own," said Rycroft, who said she's waring a numbing patch to ease the pain during rehearsal. "It makes it tolerable. [Partner Tony Dovolani] has made the routine so that we'll be able to do everything. It's more mentally exhausting than anything else... You just grit your teeth and move on."

Melissa, of course, knows all about moving on from a painful experience, as she has left Jason Mesnick in the rear view in favor of Tye Strickland.

But getting back to her dancing dreams, Rycroft says the injury has simply helped her focus. She's thankful that the viewers did not vote her off last week.

"I was in tears... The fans saved us. What happened last Monday put everything into perspective... How bad you want it."

  • MR and TD
  • Season Eight Favorites

Sorry, haters. But Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani remain a threat on Dancing with the Stars.

Dancing with the Stars Quotes

We should have started dancing with one arm waaay before.

Cristian de la Fuente [following his injury, trip to the hospital and subsequent stellar performance]

I am not the best dancer, and I have not been the best dancer from the beginning. I am happy we made it this far.

Cristian de la Fuente
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