Season 18 is about to come to an end, dance fans. It's been 10 weeks since we said hello (and goodbye) to Diana Nyad and Sean Avery. Four couples remain, and for part one of this two night finale, they competed in two rounds of dance.
In the first round, each pair repeated the dance style they did with another professional dancer during the week of the partner "Switch-Up." For round two: the always fun and supersized Freestyle!
Here are the scores for both dances, from highest to lowest combined:
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- 30 out of 30 points for their Argentine Tango / 30 out of 30 points for their Freestyle = 60 out of 60 total points.
All season Meryl has been very good and often great. Her undeniable chemistry with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy has grown over the season and helped show us a different side to Maks. It seems they both really want to win this, not for themselves, but for each other.
Their intense Argentine Tango is about as perfect as you can get. It was only the second routine of the night but after he saw it, head judge Len Goodman declared it the dance of the night. Bruno Tonioli threw out the terms sumptuously seductive and stunning and Carrie Ann Inaba thought it was perfection.
So how do you top perfection? With more perfection. Meryl and Maks' freestyle routine was nothing short of jaw dropping. You really felt like you were watching two professional dancers. The duo said their Contemporary dance was an homage to their journey together ... filled with emotion and truth.
Carrie Ann was bawling; she praised their honesty, integrity and substance. Bruno called the dance a flawless work of art. And Len loved that there were no gimmicks or gags; he told us his rating system was good, great, and then there's Meryl.
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough -- 30 out of 30 points for their Salsa / 29 out of 30 points for their Freestyle = 59 out of 60 total points.
Amy starts rehearsal week dealing with back issues again, but this woman is so determined I don't think anything could stand in her way. Each week she attacks whatever dance she's assigned, and comes out looking like a pro.
Derek Hough choreographed a Salsa this week and Amy can shimmy and shake it with the best of them. Len likened her to a Van Gogh painting; the more you see, the more you admire. Bruno called her dance flashy, flamboyant and in tune with the rhythm. And Carrie Ann said her mind had once again been blown.
For the Freestyle, Derek wanted to celebrate the fact that Amy has continually defied the odds, not just on the show, but also in life. He put together an emotional Contemporary dance that ended with her literally defying gravity. Bruno and Carrie Ann thought it was perfect; Len didn't like her high flying act and knocked them down to a 9.
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd -- 29 out of 30 points for their Tango / 29 out of 30 points for their Freestyle = 58 out of 60 total points.
It takes two to Tango and boy do these two go for it! James learned the dance the first time around when the put him with Cheryl Burke for one week. Now that he's back with Peta Murgatroyd, and already knew the basics, James was able to focus on technique and character. He realizes he's the last "man" standing; he wants to be the past PERSON standing.
The dance is intense, and the audience finally gets what it's been wanting all season ... a big kiss between these two! Len called the dance sharp as a razor and clean as a whistle; Bruno thought it was passionate and focused; Carrie Ann like the intensity but wants James to calm down and breathe before the Freestyle.
Peta put James' background and personality all over their Freestyle. It was intense and athletic; Bruno described it best as "'Mad Max' meets 'The Hunger Games.'"
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas -- 27 out of 30 points for their Quickstep / 24 out of 30 points for their Freestyle = 51 out of 60 total points.
We saw that video of Mark Ballas injuring his shoulder and thought (besides OUCH!) there's no way he can do the finale. But with a little doctor's help, Mark was glued together and able to perform. The duo definitely had a rough patch during the week (she didn't like how physical he was getting ... he called her dramatic).
They made it through the quickstep and earned triple 9's from the judges, with all three patting Candace on the back for her improvement over the season.
They were clever at the start of their disco-ish Freestyle, with Candace on the stage spinning records as "DJ Tanner." See what they did there? She was swathed in a golden costume, with backup dancers, and looked like she had the time of her life. They earned the lowest score of the night, but it looked fun, and the judges again cheered her for not holding back.
Three couples return for Tuesday night's grand finale ... and a shot at the mirrorball trophy!
Who do YOU think will win "Dancing With The Stars" season 18? Vote in our poll!