And then there were four... For the first time in the competition, "Dancing with the "Stars" has four couples in the finals.
Last week, teenage Disney sensation Zendaya Coleman and partner Val Chmerkovskiy slipped to 4th place but bounced back in spectacular fashion last night. Kelly Pickler shined brightly in her final dances and brought tears to one judge's eyes – while others defied expectations in the battle for the mirrorball trophy.
This week the couples must perform a total of four dances - three on performance night and a final dance during the grand finale.
The show began with a performance by the DWTS Troupe.
Round one is the judge's choice - a dance the couple has done before and the judges want to see again only better.
After Len made a visit to Jacoby and Karina, the couple performed a Jive that the judges agreed was better with Bruno saying Jacoby had a limitless supply of energy and Carrie Ann said had swagger and turned the house upside down. Jacoby and Karina scored 27 points for their dance.
Bruno delivered the news to Aly and Mark that they would be performing a Samba and Bruno asked them to include a Samba Roll. The judges called the performance first class and terrific; adding it had swagger and musicality. Aly and Mark earned 28 points for their Samba.
Len delivered the dance to Kellie and Derek - a Quickstep. Len was palpitating and Bruno anointed Kellie the southern belle of the ball. Kellie and Derek earned what was the first of several perfect scores during the night.
After Carrie Ann made a visit to Zendaya and Valentin, the couple performed a Samba. During dress rehearsals Zendaya accidently hit Valentin in the eye with her elbow. Valentin was worried that he would not be able to dance, but was cleared. Len summed it up when he called the dance eye popping, show stopping, and jaw dropping. Zendaya and Valentin earned the second perfect score of the night.
The second round is a Cha Cha relay for judge's rankings with fourth place earning two points and first place earning five points. After the relay Len noted that all four of the couples deserved to be in the finals.
- Fourth place went to Jacoby and Karina. - Third place went to Aly and Mark. - Second place went to Kellie and Derek. - First place went to Zendaya and Valentin.
Round three was the Freestyle dance; this season the Freestyle was supersized to include extra dancers, musicians, or whatever the dancers wanted to add.
Jacoby and Karina chose to celebrate Jacoby's home of New Orleans in a performance that included tap dancers and drummers. Len compared the dance to Jacoby's 108 yard touchdown run; but Carrie Ann felt the production overshadowed Jacoby. Jacoby and Karina scored 27 points for their Freestyle.
Wanting to do something they had never done before, Mark brought some pole dancing to Aly and his Freestyle. The performance took Carrie Ann back a few years. The judges called the performance different, amazing, and full of imagination. Len dubbed Aly Alexandra the Great. Aly and Mark added to the total of perfect scores for the night.
Kellie and Derek performed a stripped down Contemporary Freestyle that brought Carrie Ann to tears. The performance brought Len to his feet, tears to Carrie Ann's eyes, and a perfect score from the judges who said the dance was spellbindingly beautiful and drew everybody in.
The final performance of the night was from Zendaya and Valentin with a Hip-Hop inspired Freestyle that included some child dancers. Len called it a fabulous routine, Bruno called Zendaya a teen idol, and Carrie Ann called Zendaya an incredible role model. Zendaya and Valentin earned a perfect score for their Freestyle.
Round 3 - Freestyle – Scores Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff – 27 Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas – 30 Kellie Picklerand and Derek Hough– 30 Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy- 30
The Grand Finale on Tuesday will feature an international line up of performers, the instant dance, and the crowning of a new winner.
Total scores... Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff– 56 Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas– 61 Kellie Picklerand and Derek Hough– 64 Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy- 65