Every Dancing With the Stars fan has an opinion on the final four couples of Season 18. The ones who made the cut are James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd, Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas, Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and Amy Purdy and Derek Hough.

Did you predict those four pairs as the ones to beat? Judge Carrie Ann Inaba did not.

In her Parade blog, she wrote that she was shocked to see Charlie White leave at the Semifinals. “I think everyone thought Charlie, Meryl Davis, and Amy Purdy would certainly be in the finals,” she said. “At least that is what I heard from all the fans who have been coming up to me during the season telling me their personal finals pick (I always love the passion I hear from all the friends of our show throughout the season!).”

The “everyone” Carrie Ann talked to apparently didn’t mention James or Candace, and it’s the Full House star’s inclusion that’s most unexpected to Carrie Ann. “Candace Cameron Bure is the most surprising finalist I’d say,” Carrie Ann wrote. “Her journey to the finals has been rough and filled with ups and down and a complicated struggle with confidence. I give her so much credit for really showing us this struggle and sharing it so openly; it does takes courage.”

Candace struggled with her first dance of the Semifinals, the Viennese Waltz, but she recovered quickly, “and I think that makes people root for her – everyone can relate to her,” Carrie Ann continued. “Mark Ballas has created great routines for her and she has had her good days and her bad days. Her journey on DWTS is like most people’s journey in life. She struggles with herself, but what’s so incredible is that from the outside I think we can all see that she has what it takes. She’s better than she thinks. And the audience support really helps her realize this.”

Carrie Ann said Candace’s Jazz routine was very challenging and she didn’t miss a single move. What she’s looking for from Candace in the Finals is “abandon.” Carrie Ann explained, “I want to see her abandon her mind when she dances and let her self truly be the dance. To allow whatever energy and emotion to come through her body while she’s dancing and create that magic when we get lost in the dance. She did it in week one. And she’s had really good moments since then–they’ve been exciting to watch. All she needs is now to dance like no one is watching.”

We’ve been sharing reasons why each of the finalists has a shot to win, and Carrie Ann mentioned a few points we also included for Candace. She’s certainly still in this. Do you agree that Candace is the most surprising finalist of Season 18? Who did you expect, or hope, to see in the final four?

Source: Parade