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Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With the Stars All-Stars Finals Recap: Fab, Fierce, or Frustrating Freestyles?

Freestyles are traditionally the make-or-break dances on Dancing With the Stars. On All-Stars Season 15 the finalists didn’t just have Freestyles, they had Super-Sized McFreestyles, including some special guests and other tricks. So who made it and who, uh, broke it?

Did you enjoy Kelly Monaco and Valentin Chmerkovskiy’s take on Dirty Dancing, complete with Val playing violin? Did you love Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani’s bold Contemporary routine? Did you like having The Fierce Five on hand to support Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough? Did the All-Stars Freestyles live up to your expectations or do you feel like you’ve seen more impressive routines on past seasons of DWTS?

And what about the favorite routine re-dos? We can’t forget about them, even if the Freestyles tend to get all the attention. All three couples revisited the iconic dances of Week 3. Shawn and Derek took a big risk by choosing to blow off the judges’ rules again, in favor of pleasing the audience with their Quickstep. That put them at the bottom of the scoreboard, but the scores are very close, and more numbers will be added tomorrow night after the final Instant Dance. It’s possible that risk won’t affect them at all, since viewers will be voting on just these two routines. But if Shawn takes second to Melissa or Kelly … well … they may have to rationalize it as a good decision because they just love doing that routine!

Here’s a quick rundown of Monday’s Week 10 leaderboard:

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani — 30 + 30 = 60
Kelly Monaco & Valentin Chmerkovskiy — 29.5 + 29.5 = 59
Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough — 27 + 30 = 57

Read on for a full recap of Monday’s Finale action.

1. Kelly Monaco & Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Paso Doble from Week 3They picked this dance because they considered it a turning point in their season. They want to make it perfect so the judges have no choice but to give them a 10. Loved this routine the first time. Love it again. Cute little kiss on her nose in the end!

JUDGES: Len Goodman said Week 3, he said it was her best dance to date. Week 10, he’s saying it again. Bruno Tonioli said Kelly burned the floor like an awesome fireangel burning with passion (!). He saw artistry and polish that he hadn’t seen before. She even covered a mishap with her dress hem. Carrie Ann Inaba said she is so proud of Kelly. She had to struggle the hardest to get here. She had a little slip-up, but this was her best dance. So her dress got in the way? Hmm. Worth it. That dress is hot.

SCORES: 9.5, 10, 10 = 29.5 out of 30. Their first 10s!

2. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani — Samba from Week 3They keep bringing up the idea that they are going against two former champions but, don’t forget, Kelly only lasted six weeks on Season 1 because seasons were short. Melissa and Shawn competed for 11 weeks on Season 8. They picked this Samba because Melissa feels like she can perfect it now that they’ve put seven weeks of competition behind them.

Bruno called her the irresistible Brazilian bombshell. It’s good to see her confidence. She’s blossomed. Carrie Ann said, woman to woman, her abs are ridiculous. Last time the only thing she struggled on was her solo but this week she was fabulous. Len said she captured the party flavor of the Samba. It was terrific.

SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30 out of 30.

3. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough, Quickstep from Week 3This was their “statement dance” and they decided to break hold again. They wonder if they can afford to break the rules and risk having lower scores. Well, it’s not like the judges can decide it doesn’t matter anymore. They are doing this for the fan support/standing ovation, not for judges’ scores. This was their first big showstopping dance that played off their athletic gymnastics skills.

Carrie Ann said it’s a fan favorite and fantastic routine but she’s sad that they decided not to follow the rules. It’s the same thing they did last time and she’s disappointed. Len saw more body contact in this routine, but they aren’t allowed to break hold. They also aren’t allowed to do lifts, which they did. “You leave me nowhere to go.” Bruno said all season they have taken risks and pushed the boundaries. Nevertheless, what they have achieved is sensational. The scores are bound by the rules, but it takes nothing away from their achievement.

SCORES: 9, 8.5, 9.5 = 27 out of 30.

1. Kelly Monaco & Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Freestyle to “Time of My Life” — Kelly started the routine in the air. Val serenaded her on violin. Remember his violin duel with Mark Ballas? They seem to channel Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing. Well, they did dance dirty a lot this season. Is JGrey in the audience? She won Season 11 with Derek. Nice lift! Kelly must weigh nothing. They have a gospel choir with them, plus the pro troupe.

JUDGES: Len thought the opening was spectacular and loved the lifts. It lacked a little bit of originality for him, but the actual dance was spellbinding. Bruno loved the blend of Cirque du Soleil with Dirty Dancing. The interpretation of the dance was superb. Their chemistry was shown well. Patrick is smiling on them. Carrie Ann said they’ve all been watching this couple grow and this played into their love story.

SCORES: 10, 9.5, 10 = 29.5 out of 30. Total of 59 out of 60. Val and Kelly wanted to just showcase them and not get lost and overwhelmed in the Super-Sized theme. Do they have a showmance or a real romance? Kelly said there’s still another day of interviewing so they can’t say. Who cares? They put on a great show.

2. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani — Freestyle to “I Was Here” by Beyonce — They didn’t take any high risks last time, on Season 8, Tony said, so he wants to do a Contemporary routine. Melissa said they haven’t seen Contemporary in a Finale before, but is that true? What about Erin Andrews and Maks on Season 10? Melissa looks so good in full lift. She has those amazing lines. Tony lifts her like she weighs nothing. They have some dancers in cubes hanging from the ceiling, but otherwise they are the focus.

JUDGES: Bruno said that really was the perfect setting to showcase all of her extraordinary qualities. Fantastic extensions, beautiful lines, musicality, and lyricism. “A gem. You were a gem.” Carrie Ann said with great risk comes great reward. “Freestyle jackpot." Len said that had passion. It was wonderful and truly — he was speechless! The judges are Team Melissa and Tony, for sure.

SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30 out of 30. Total of 60 out of 60! Len said he wished he had an 11.

3. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough, Freestyle to an instrumental song — This season has been Shawn’s redemption for having to retire from gymnastics. Not that it’s stopping her from doing gymnastics! She even had the famous Fierce Five from Team USA join her in the routine. The routine includes a huge “SHAWN” sign — they can break that out if she wins tomorrow night! Most of the routine is focused just on Shawn and Derek, with the ladies just popping out for little cameos.

JUDGES: Carrie Ann said it was Super-Sized and sensational. She’s so proud of Shawn. Shawn has been doing Freestyles all season, and they had been waiting for this one. It didn’t disappoint. Len said in Freestyles you have to expect the unexpected and this was unexpected. It was a medley of their greatest hits. “It was a gold medal performance.” Bruno called it fierce, flawless, exciting, explosive, brilliant. “Truly the crowning glory of a fantastic night.” Bruno said their three goddesses had been astonishing all night.

SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30 out of 30. Total of 57 out of 60.

Which routine was your favorite?

Don’t forget to vote online at ABC’s official DWTS site and on Facebook at

The Dancing With the Stars All-Stars finale airs Tuesday, November 27 from 9 to 11 p.m. on ABC.

Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @ginacarbone.

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