What a finals night it was on "Dancing with the Stars" as three couples squared off for the finals of season 10. And who could have imagined any finalist earning 8s on the most critical night of competition (okay, two more dances remain tomorrow night but viewers won't have any input on those)?.
The evening started off on an interesting note as Erin and Maks kicked things into a funky high gear with a playful samba. Was it fabulous? Not particularly, but it was lively and entertaining and it earned the duo a 29 from the judges. Next up were Evan and Anna who delivered one of the most eclectic Viennese waltzes I can remember. It was stylish and risky and enchanting and the couple earned 28 points (it should have earned at least a 29) and it received the loudest standing-O of the night. The last one up was Nicole (the odds-on favorite to win the whole shebang tomorrow night) and her partner Derek who turned in a sultry rhumba, which thrilled the judges. But then, could it be? The routine included not one but two lifts (yep, there was one way in the beginning that Carrie Ann Inaba missed) that just threw the scoring into a free-fall, earning a 27 for what should have been a perfect 30 outing.
The freestyle competition turned out to be the real deal-breaker as everything just sorta fell flat. I'm sorry, but Erin and Maks' bedroom/ballroom routine looked like a pastiche of who knows what. Was it daring? Sure. Was it different? Sure. Was it fabulous contemporary dance? Nope. The judges weren't buying it either (except for Bruno). The romping around on the prop bed looked uncomfortable and awkward. The duo earned a miserable 26!! Not finals-worthy by any means.
Evan followed with one of the strangest routines this side of Marie Osmond's "dancing doll" routine a few seasons back. Following a tumultuous rehearsal week in which Evan slammed Anna for what he called "Broadway" and "cheeky" dance moves, the pair seemed outta synch from the get-go in their super-charged routine. Carrie Ann summed it up nicely when she commented that it seemed like two separate dances. Gotta hand it to Bruno for the best comment of the night when he said he didn't know if it was "Footloose or screw loose." Again, a miserable score of 24 was Evan's reward. How can these guys still be earning 24s on finals night?!?
So it was time for Nicole's big moment, and again, it was one of the oddest routines. It was daring and sexy but the super-slick moves that Derek choreographed were cumbersome and awkward and it cost the dynamic duo big time when it came to the scoring, landing them only 27 points.
With the 8s flowing freely from the judges' paddles, the whole competition is up for grabs. Maybe that was the plan, especially in a season where the pack was pretty much split between those celebs who had some kind of dance training and those who did not.
Two more dances to go; it's hard to say who's gonna hoist that mirrorball trophy Tuesday night. Don't count anybody out; the judges made it anybody's game tonight.