Dancing With the Stars recap: Studding for Finals

The three finalists perform "favorite dances" and SUPER-SIZE freestyles -- plus, the Fab Five! McKayla is impressed...
Ep. 18 | Aired Nov 26, 2012

IT'S NOT A BIRD Melissa Rycroft (pictured) and Kelly Monaco both attempted fierce acrobatics in their super-sized freestyles in the hopes of barely impressing McKayla.


Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 27/30 quickstep + 30/30 freestyle = 57.5/60 Shawn has become such a mini Derek this season -- advocating the breaking of rules, hamming it up pre-commercial breaks, and fervently insisting on truisms such as "As long as we get that standing ovation, anything goes." It's not a knock on her and their similarities/her makeover has only helped their chemistry and staying power. I'd say at this point they stand no chance of losing tonight. Right? I mean, they blatantly didn't care that they'd stand to get a "low" score from the judges, who'd been unhappy with heir rule-breaking "Hey Pachuko" quickstep earlier in the season. And there's no reason to care! Especially this season, the judges' scores just seem more meaningless than ever. The quickstep was a major crowd-pleaser again and I delighted in how the entire audience GASPED as Shawn and Derek fell into the glitterpit even though they must have remembered the trick from the first time. I noticed more smoke machine residue puffing up from the pit this time so apparently they were just that much more on fire last night.

I love how Bruno scolded Shawn and Derek for leaving him no choice but to score the dance according to the OFFICIAL RULES of the show -- no breaking hold, no lifts -- and then promptly awarded them a nine and a HOFF!

The reason it really doesn't matter that Shawn and Derek broke the rules is because duh! The Fab/Fierce Five -- Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, and McKayla Maroney, who was apparently not impressed with freestyle rehearsals either -- joined the duo for their "Sashay/Aerials"-themed super-sized freestyle! How could either of the other couples compete with this?! Val and Kelly used The Troupe (decoys!), Tony and Melissa used those abstract acrobats, and Shawn and Derek used uber-popular gold-medal darlings beloved by an entire nation of recovering Olympics addicts?! Seriously. No contest. I love Tony like my luggage, but come on. There's no way Shawn and Derek don't win. Did you SEE her fall face-first from STANDING on his shoulders into a front somersault?

LOL at Carrie Ann's passive-aggressive "compliment" that Shawn and Derek "have been doing freestyles the whole season -- we've been waiting for this and you did not disappoint!" Meanwhile, Len called Shawn and Derek's tricks-infused freestyle "totally unexpected" which was just, like, huh? Planet Mirrorballus to Len, come in, please. There's tea. It shimmers.

Who were your faves Monday? Who goes home first tonight? And who, besides McKayla by default, will WIN?

See you tomorrow for the finale recap and thanks, as always, for reading.

Fringe Fairy



All eyes were on Sir Flirts a Lot's hidden gems after his revealing "Surfer Flamenco" with Kelly.
Food pairing: The Wishbone. Duh.




Mirrorballus Rex encourages you to appraise EW.com's Hidden Gems of the 'All-Stars' Semifinals.

Annie Barrett's 'DWTS' Facebook page

Read more:
Week 8 results recap: Ladies First
Week 8 performance recap: In the Flesh of an Eye
Tristan MacManus tours the 'DWTS' rehearsal space -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Election Night 2012: Your Hidden Gems!

Video reply time! Ask Annie anything about 'DWTS' -- or whatever -- below.

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