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'Dancing' stars reflect on season before finale

Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas perform on 'Dancing With The Stars' on Monday, May 16, 2011. (Adam Taylor)

May 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Before the two-day finale starts on Monday night, the celebrities of "Dancing With The Stars" took time to reflect on the season.

It's down to the three final couples: Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas, and Hines Ward and Kym Johnson.

Each couple will perform two dances. One will be a "judge's choice" dance, which is a style judges have determined to be the best to showcase each couple's strengths. Then it's the always highly anticipated, high-energy, fan-favorite freestyle.

All three couples have been rehearsing nearly nonstop.

"I can act like I don't want to win, but I want to win," Alley said.

Ward says he plans to "be the halftime show" during his Jackson 5-themed freestyle dance. Alley says she is planning "lots of aerials" during her no-holds-barred routine. And Kane says she's eager to "take full advantage of the freestyle" and dance without rules.

"I'm excited to see what Mark, when he doesn't have to stay in a certain line, comes up with," Kane said. "I'm scared for my life actually, but it should be fun."

It's been tough for all three celebrities, but Alley, Kane and Ward agree that this has been an experience they wouldn't trade for anything.

"When I first met Kym, I knew nothing about dancing ever. I was so scared of dancing, and she took a football player who was rugged, rough around the edges and made me become a dancer," Ward said.

Johnson said she's been planning the freestyle dance for awhile.

"When I met Hines, well he was a great dancer, so my mind automatically goes to, 'What if we made it to the final, what would we do?' Because you really have to be prepared, so I've had this idea for quite some time, and it's so nice to actually now be in the finals, we can actually do this freestyle that I've wanted to do," she said.

But Johnson's dance is not expected to feature too many daredevil moves.

"I learned my lesson. I realized it's not so necessary to break your neck to win a Mirror Ball trophy," she said.

Alley said she was glad she got paired with Chmerkovskiy, adding that she didn't think anyone else could handle her.

"I'm not a walk in the park, and I'm not low maintenance," she said.

And while Alley knew the show was going to be tough, she said it was tougher than she thought it would be.

"Everything else about it is not what I knew it would be, and I'm glad. It was shockingly great," she said.

For Kane, her biggest surprise was that she lasted this long.

"It was so scary coming into this, especially hearing some of the names that were involved, which are like huge household names, Hines Ward and Kirstie Alley ... I felt like one of the unknown," she said. "To be here, now standing up with them and competing for the Mirror Ball, it's just been surreal, and it's an awesome feeling."

The two-night finale of "Dancing With The Stars" starts at 8 p.m. on ABC7, with the new champ announced Tuesday during the results show.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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