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DWTS All Stars: Finale recap and pics

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    Posted: 27 Nov 2012 at 11:44

Girl power! Melissa Rycroft is frontrunner as she battles Shawn Johnson and Kelly Monaco in first ever all-female DWTS finale

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 05:06, 27 November 2012 | UPDATED: 05:07, 27 November 2012

The three remaining women contestants on Dancing With The Stars went toe to toe on Monday night in a bid to win the TV title.

It's the first time ever the ABC network show has had an all-female finale as Shawn Johnson, Melissa Rycroft and Kelly Monaco battled it out on the all-star season.

Each couple chose a dance they'd already performed in the hope of wooing the judges all over again, and it was Melissa Rycroft who came out on top with a perfect score of 60 points for the evening.


Jumping for joy: Melissa Rycroft had everything to smile about when she topped the leaderboard with a perfect score in the Dancing With The Stars finale on Monday

They ended up in bottom place last week but General Hospital actress Kelly Monaco and Valentin Chmerkovskiy were the first to show off their moves on Monday night's show.

The pair told how they chose the paso doble as their repeat dance because Kelly did it so well the first time they did it.

‘If you're going to redo something you're not redoing it to half-ass it. You've got to redo it to DO it,’ she explained.

The two have battled through the nine weeks of the show without yet landing a coveted perfect 10 score from the trio of judges.

A topless Val kicked off the dance as the studio lights went red before Kelly helped him into a bullfighter's vest, and the passionate dance had the crowd whooping and clapping.

‘That dress is out to get you,’ joked host Tom Bergeron as she almost tripped over the flamenco-style garment as she walked to the judges' table.


Artistic: Their second dance saw Melissa and Tony get contemporary and creative


Shocked: The pair were delighted to become the frontrunners with their evening of perfect scores

And despite a minor mishap where the pair failed to join hands mid-dance, they won praise for their efforts, with judge Len Goodman dubbing it their ‘best dance to date’.

Bruno Tonioli said: ‘You burned the floor like an awesome fire angel fuelled by passion. You can always ignite drama. What I saw tonight was artistry and polish.’

And Carrie Ann Inaba added: ‘I am so proud of you. That was your best dance.’

As they waited for their scores, Kelly, 36, who landed one of the lowest scores ever on DWTS when she first appeared seven years ago, said she couldn't believe she was in the final three.

‘I went into this journey wanting to complete it and just do the best I could do every week,’ she said.
And using herself as an example, she urged viewers: ‘You can do anything.’


Surprising: Despite going from strength to strength throughout the competition Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough were bottom of the leaderboard


Sizzling: Kelly Monaco's chemistry with Valentin Chmerkovskiy was enough to leave her second place

Carrie Ann gave them 9.5, Len gave them a long-awaited perfect 10, and Bruno also awarded them 10, giving them a total of 29.5 points out of a possible 30.

Next up were former Bachelor contestant Melissa Rycroft and pro partner Tony Dovolani, the only finalists who have not yet won a trophy on the show.

‘This season felt like we had so many more hurdles to overcome,’ admitted Melissa as she looked back. She suffered a head and neck injury in October after she fell during rehearsals. 

The couple decided to dance the samba and the colourful dance saw a ticker tape parade rain down behind them as the audience donned carnival masks and waved torches in the air before streamers shot on to the dance floor at the finale.

‘Careful,’ joked Tom Bergeron as he led them through the pile of streamers to the judges' table. 'Don't kill yourself.'


Let's hear it for the girls: This is the first time on Dancing With The Stars that there have been only women in the finale


It paid off: Melissa was rewarded for all of her hard work on her routines

‘Melissa,’ said Bruno Tonioli. ‘The deliciously, irresistible, Brazilian bombshell. What a wonderful blend of moves. What is good to see is your confidence. You've grown so much as a performer. You really have blossomed.’

‘First of all, woman to woman, your abs, honey, are ridiculous! You look amazing,’ said Carrie Ann Inaba. ‘Fabulous. Brilliant!’

When asked backstage why they went for the samba, Melissa said: ‘We wanted to challenge ourselves, and second it's very different from our freestyle.’

And it paid off - Carrie Ann gave them 10, Len Goodman also gave them 10 and Bruno made it three when he too awarded them 10 points, giving them a perfect 30 out of 30 score. An elated Tony blew kisses at the TV viewers after he heard the scores.

Then host Tom Bergeron revealed that the finalists had been forced to sweat it out by practicing three different dances ahead of Tuesday night's show.

‘The instant dance round is the most difficult we've ever devised,’ he said. ‘All we're telling our finalists now is that they will be performing either a jive, a cha-cha or a samba so they'll have to prepare three different routines. That's just nasty.’


Fiery: The judges were equally impressed with Melissa and Val's colourful samba


Nailed it: The pair celebrated their perfect night and couldn't help but squeak

On Tuesday night the three pairs will pick the music and dance style they will perform to complete their judges' scores.

Next up it was the turn of Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and her partner Derek Hough, who chose the quickstep as the dance they would do again.

But instead of changing up the routine and changing the choreography they opted to do the same one they did earlier in the season.

‘We're doing the quickstep again because it was the first time Derek and I  came out and said, “We're going to do things different,”’ explained Shawn. ‘It's a statement dance.’

She added: ‘Derek and I have broken a lot of rules, but in the end it's worth it. Those standing ovations mean everything to us.’

The duo wowed the studio audience by doing front flips on to the floor, and they looked breathless and delighted at the end of the routine.


Special guests: Shawn was supported by the Famous Five gymnastics team during her second routine


Special touch: The dance closed the show and wowed the judges and audience members alike

‘What can I say? It's a fantastic routine but I'm sad that you didn't choose to follow the rules,’ said Carrie Ann Inaba, who said she would have rather seen something new. As the crowd booed, she admitted: ‘I'm a little disappointed.’

The other judges also said they were saddened they hadn't done something different, but Len Goodman added: ‘It is a fantastic routine.’

Bruno added: ‘All season you have been pushing boundaries. A bell's called a bell by the rules but it's taken nothing away from your achievements.’

They landed 26.5 points for the routine when they first did it in week three of the show, but this time around Carrie Ann gave them nine, Len awarded them 8.5 points and Bruno gave them 9.5 points, giving them a total of 27 points from a possible 30, and leaving them in bottom place on the leaderboard after the first round of dances.

The second half of the show saw the competitors showing off their skills in the super-size freestyle round.

The contestants got to pick the music, and costumes and everything else in a bid to wow the judges and the voting public.


Taking a risk: Shawn and Derek oddly decided to do an exact dance routine they had done before


Supporting their man: Derek's former dance partner Maria Menounos and rumoured former flame Katherine Jenkins cheered him on

Kelly and Val were first to go, and Kelly - who has been coy about her relationship with the dancer - spoke fondly of the 6ft pro.

‘The most surprising thing for me out of this whole experience has been the bond that I've made with Val. Just being able to have a friendship like that, that was unexpected is just priceless. I don't want my journey with Val to end,’ she confessed. ‘Dancing with him has been one of the best experiences of my life.’

Their routine - set to the sound of (I've Had) The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing saw her spiralling on a trapeze while he serenaded her by playing the violin.

As she twirled down to the dancefloor, he grabbed her and they danced a sexy number - with a little help from a gospel choir backing them and several other dancers.

‘It lacked a little bit of reality for me but the actual dance was spellbinding,’ said Len Goodman. 

‘I loved the blend of Cirque de Soleil with Dirty Dancing. You were two people totally in tune. Patrick [Swayze] is smiling on you,’ said Bruno. The truth is, we've all been watching you as a couple grow. I don't know if it's a real couple, but we've watched that. And it's plain in your dancing.’


Keeping coy: Kelly and Val were unwilling to divulge whether or not they are in a relationship


Passion: Kelly and Val scored highly for their racy paso doble which kicked off the show

‘You told us a happy ending to a beautiful love story. I thought it was wonderful,’ said Carrie Ann.

Kelly told Brooke Burke Charvet afterwards: ‘I wanted Val and I to be the highlight of the freestyle and I think we accomplished that,’ But the host was more interested in the supposed relationship between the pair.

‘Speaking of you guys, give it up - is this show-mance, is this romance? I mean everybody wants to know!’ she said.

Kelly coyly said: ‘There's still another day of interviewing,’ while Val added: ‘It's unconditional love.’

And real or not the chemistry definitely impressed the judges. Carrie Ann gave them 10, Len gave them 9.5 and Bruno gave them 10, meaning they got 29.5 points from a possible 30, and giving them a total of 59 out of 60 points overall.

Next up was Melissa and Tony who chose contemporary dance for their showcase, and the slow-moving dance began with him holding her in the air on the ground to the sound of Beyonce's I Was Here. At the end the crowd got their feet to applaud as Tony punched the air in delight.


Almost perfect: Kelly and Val hugged when they were awarded 29.5 out of a possible 30 points


Fighting back: After failing to impress with their repeat performance, Shawn and Derek's final dance was show-stopping

‘That was the perfect setting to showcase all of your extraordinary qualities,’ said Bruno Tonioli. ‘You were a gem,’ he said of Melissa.

‘Leonard Bernstein said, “When the passion's too much to talk, sing and when the passion's too much to sing, dance.'”That had passion. It was wonderful. It was truly wonderful,’ said Len Goodman, who struggled to find the words to describe it.

The pair then learned their scores - landing a perfect 30 by getting 10 from each judge, and Len revealed: ‘I wish I had an 11.’ It meant they got a perfect score of 60 out of 60 points for the night.

Derek and Shawn were up next - and they enlisted the help of the women’s' US Olympics gymnastic team, The Fierce Five, for their freestyle dance.

‘You gave me everything back,’ Shawn said of Derek, after she was unable to compete in the summer 2012 Olympics. She said that Dancing With The Stars had given her new hope.

The Fierce Five – aka Team USA’s gold medal-winning gymnasts Gaby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber —  were watched over in rehearsals by Derek, who tried to co-ordinate them.


An interesting touch: Kelly and Val's second routine was performed with a gospel choir singing in the background


Confident: Melissa was twirled around by Tony as she clasped her legs around his waist during their second performance

‘What better way [for Shawn] to finish the season than if she was in the Olympics with her teammates,’ he said. She added: ‘I really feel like I've poured my heart and soul into this competition.’

Her teammates appeared from behind boxes that spelled out SHAWN as the freestyle routine began, while they wowed the crowd with their high-octane moves, mixing splits, tumbles, and cartwheels as the ballroom went crazy.

‘You are incredible!' said Carrie Ann. 'The fab five and you, you do not disappoint.’

‘In freestyle you've got to expect the unexpected and this was totally unexpected,’ said Len Goodman. So many different dances. That was a gold medal performance.’

Afterwards Shawn said: ‘It meant the world to me, finding the confidence to perform on stage again.’
And it was another perfect 30 - with each judge giving them 10 out of 10. They ended up with a total of 57 out of 60 points for the night, leaving them bottom of the leaderboard.

On Tuesday each finalist will perform a jive, cha-cha or samba for their final instant dance before the Season 15 trophy is handed out.


Tongues wagging: Viewers are keen to find out if Kelly and Val's relationship is real


It's a nail-biter: The three contestants will find out who is taking home the mirrorball trophy tomorrow


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2239019/Girl-power-Melissa-Rycroft-frontrunner-battles-Shawn-Johnson-Kelly-Monaco-female-DWTS-finale.html#ixzz2DQFlKbbZ

Edited by Bren - 27 Nov 2012 at 11:45
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