Indiana Jones' last crusade is now complete.
Bill Engvall was the only celeb on the Dancing With the Stars Season 17 Finals to not get a perfect 30 for his Freestyle. But he took his shirt off and it gave Carrie Ann Inaba the giggles, so that's worth something. It’s worth a lot.
Bill and Emma Slater lasted a lot longer than anyone expected. They were such a warm, fun pair to watch, but from here it feels like we’re down to the right final three: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke, who were the showstopping comeback kids; Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff, who were Smooth Criminals Michael Jackson might envy; and Amber Riley and Derek Hough, who literally stepped it up with a country western Freestyle.
Night 1 of the Finals had a rough start at first, dance-wise, but the three Finalists all had killer Freestyles in very different ways.
So who has your votes tonight and why? Are you voting based on Freestyles? Who got your #encore tweet? Are you supporting the same duo you've been helping all season? Are you disappointed that Bill won’t be doing that Jive-Quickstep fusion dance tomorrow? He seemed so relieved!
Here’s a quick rundown of where the couples stood on the first night of Week 11:
Amber & Derek: 30 + 4 + 30 = 64
Corbin & Karina: 27 + 5 + 30 = 62
Jack & Cheryl: 24 + 3 + 30 = 57
Bill E. & Emma: 24 + 2 + 25 = 51
Read on for a full recap of the Finale Night 1 action:
KELLIE PICKLER OPENS SHOW: The reigning champion, Kellie Pickler, returned to open the show with her country song "Little Bit Gypsy," accompanied by the pro dancers.
1. Bill Engvall and Emma Slater — Viennese Waltz — Bill never even imagined getting to the Finals. “We’ve come this far. Let’s go win this thing.” The judges’ picked the Viennense Waltz for them and Len Goodman visited them in rehearsals. He got three 8s the first time, but the judges think he could improve and get 9s or 10s. Emma cried in rehearsals, she’s going to miss Bill. Very sweet. They are a great pair. Very nice performance. Good footwork from him. Nice and light and fluid.
JUDGES: Len said Bill is Cinderella and he got to come to the ball. The judges’ choice is about improvement. He did see improvement, but Bill lost iming again a couple of times. There was some good improvement but some stayed the same. Happy birthday, Bruno Tonioli! Bruno said everyone loves Bill because he’s so genuine. He brings sincerity. Len is right, he tried incredibly hard but his timing isn’t a Swiss watch. He’s irresistible, though. Carrie Ann said she never thought she’d see him there, but it’s special that he played his own game the whole way through. He brings the same warmth. No improvement on musicality, she said, but still smiling and enjoying performance.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24. Never been a Bill apologist, but that appeared to be an improvement from past weeks. Maybe curse of the first dance of the night.
Vote for Bill E. & Emma: 1-800-868-3409
2. Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff — Quickstep — This is the other dance that Len found too frantic, in addition to the dark dance last week. We’ve lost some good dancers this season, Len said, and he doesn’t want to see Corbin as the first one out. Len’s expecting a lot from Len. He doesn’t want Corbin to get another 8. This is a very fast song, so if they’re going to stay with it they kind of have to go extra fast.
JUDGES: Last time it was hectic, this time Len thought he calmed it down a bit. But his left arm started to get a bit straight when he was flying around. For him, an improvement. Bruno said if Corbin did that on the highway he’d get a speeding ticket. The control was there most of the time but they went out of sync at one point. The footwork was so complicated, it’s hard to keep it in sync. Carrie Ann said it was a very challenging routine. The truth is she didn’t see improvement, so she’s a little disappointed. It didn’t get tighter, there was still some separation in frame. It didn’t improve. Huh.
SCORES: 9, 9, 9 = 27 out of 30. How could he have improved it, though? Different song, maybe? Judges are tough tonight.
Vote for Corbin & Karina: 1-800-868-3406
3. Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke — Jive — Bruno visited him in rehearsals. Jack had problems with kicks, flicks and weight distribution in his last Jive. His kicks look better. He puts forth so much effort, it’s great. Why that long run up the stairs again, though?
JUDGES: Papa Bruno was so upset because Jack messed up his timing. He figured it was nerves. He did improve, though. “Get yourself together.”Carrie Ann said she’s heartbroken. This wasn’t as good as the last time he did it. He got off on the wrong foot. If they turned off the music and she didn’t see they were out of sync it would be better. Len said he lost it early on and it took a while for him to get it back. But he has two dances left.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30.
Vote for Jack & Cheryl: 1-800-868-3402
4. Amber Riley and Derek Hough — Charleston — They got the final dance last week too. Carrie Ann visited them in rehearsals. It was out of sync last time and they got three 8s. They need to see growth from Amber. Such a great routine. Glee stars in the house!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann giggled and said she’s so proud of Amber. Amber started the competition at the top and she outdid herself this week. Len said out of the four couples, this is the most improved. Bruno said it was high voltage there’s a power surge across the country. He criticized her footwork last time and it was sharp as a razorblade this time.
SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30.
Vote for Amber & Derek: 1-800-868-3407
TLC performs “No Scrubs” live during the relay. They had to pick numbers for dance order and Jack was first, then Amber, Bill and Corbin.
Love the little dance-off between Bill & Derek and Emma & Amber. More shirtless Corbin!
Judges: Len said it wasn’t a Samba it was a Whamba. One was a bit careful, one lacked a bit of rhythm, one was close but not quite, one nailed it. Bruno said it was crazy, sexy, cool, hot. A Samba for every taste. Carrie Ann said she was impressed with Corbin since it was his first time doing Samba. She loved Amber’s undulation and Bill’s transition.
2 points - Bill & Emma
3 points - Jack & Cheryl
4 points - Amber & Derek
5 points - Corbin & Karina
1. Bill & Emma — They have an Indiana Jones-inspired routine. He gets to be Harrison Ford. “You’re welcome!” They even have a whip. This is Emma’s first Freestyle ever, since this is her first season. Bill still has a groin injury so there are some lifts he has concerns about. He goes after the Mirror Ball in the dance like the holy grail. Emma steals it from him. Love her outfit again! She wins the costume award this season. Love how it’s just them, no extra people. Focus on what people want and love. A couple of lifts, but nothing too much. A bit messy toward the middle, but the whip part was cool. They are such a likable pair. SHIRTLESS BILL! He whipped it off for some reason and it almost killed Carrie Ann. Tom thanked him on behalf of all men with a one-pack.
JUDGES: Len said Raiders of the Lost Ark -- he may have lost his ark but he hasn’t lost his ability to entertain. For him, he’s been trained but never tamed. He always adds his little quirks and cheeky moments. He sat there and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bruno said it’s beyond dancing, it’s nutty and batty but insanely good fun. Carrie Ann said the dancing is what it is but he’s the everyman's man who has become a dancing hero.
SCORES: 8, 9, 8 = 25 out of 30. Oh, Len! That’s the first 9 for Bill? It was because he took his shirt off, wasn’t it, Len.
2. Corbin & Karina — They have a Michael Jackson-themed routine to “Smooth Criminal.” Last season Karina used extra dancers and it may have overpowered the routine. They went to Vegas to work with MJ’s choreographer. They are aiming for something acrobatic and big. Oh they decided to add dancers after all. They are taking big risks with this one! They start the routine hanging upside down. They are so in sync. Lots of great, ambitious moves.
JUDGES: Bruno said Corbin killed it, you merciless assassin! He managed to combine some iconic MJ moves with amazing ballroom touches in packaging that was pure Las Vegas magic. Carrie Ann said normally she doesn’t like when people try to copy iconic moments but they nailed it. She made her miss Michael. Good job. Len stood up and gave them a standing O!
SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30
3. Jack & Cheryl — They’re going to tell the story of their season with this Freestyle. Cheryl wants to show people how much he’s improved. There will be eight people on stage including himself and Cheryl and they have to be in sync. “Pain is temporary, glory is forever.” Love the black and white intro. Nice old Hollywood start. Tons of content. That was really charming!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann took the black hat - it looks good with her white dress! She said that was a showstopper - an ending fitting for a king. He’s had the most incredible journey. Hats off to him. Len said he was under so much pressure. He came out, his family should be so proud. he’s proud of him too. It was a true showstopper. Bruno said Hurrah for Hollywood and Hurrah for Jack. He’s never seen such a comeback. It was tailored to perfection. Cheryl was crying. Yay, Cheryl! She’s so proud.
SCORES: 10, 10 (he wanted an 11!), 10 = 30. Yay! Comeback dance.
4. Amber & Derek — Back in Week 3 Amber did some dance moves in rehearsals and it gave Derek an idea. He’s adding some stepping and clapping into the Freestyle. She was on a step team in high school? She was teaching him some moves this time. They have a country western themed Freestyle. That has a history of working. Season 2, Season 14 … now? Who are some of those guys dancing with them? Amazing routine, though.
JUDGES: Len said he loves how he only watched her in the dance. She’s class, fast and built to last. Bruno said Amber is a leading lady, star power, charisma, bewitchingly awesome. Nobody could take their eyes off of her. She commanded the performance. Carrie Ann said those were some fierce dancers with her and she was in control the whole time. She’s like a diva dancing James Brown.
SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30.
FUSION DANCE CHOICES
Cha-Cha Foxtrot — Corbin & Karina got this from Jack & Cheryl
Jive-Quickstep — Bill & Emma got this by default
Samba-Quickstep — Amber & Derek got this dance from Bill & Emma; they were kind
Paso-Salsa — Jack & Cheryl got this from Corbin & Karina
WHO GOES HOME NINTH?
Who is safe: Amber & Derek, Corbin & Karina
Who goes home: Bill & Emma tend to be the kiss of death, if you’re in the “bottom two” next to them … but this time they were the ones to leave.
They did great, though. Brooke asked how proud he is to make it this far. “It just goes to prove to me that there is a God ‘cause I don’t think I could make it one more dance.” Emma is his second daughter now. They just had a blast. He also thanked his wife, Gail.
Are you surprised that Bill didn't make the final three? Disappointed? Relieved?