It was a tie for the top on the final "Dancing With the Stars" performance episode. The reality dance competition goes into Tuesday's finale with a dead heat between Disney star Chelsea Kane and football superstar Hines Ward.
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas: The first couple to take the stage on Monday night's (May 23) "Dancing With the Stars" set the bar high. The junior members of the show impressed judges with their sexy round-one samba.
"I liked what I was watching," head judge Len Goodman told the pair. "I wasn't over-keen on the flailing-arm section, but overall, it was a great number. Well done."
Bruno Tonioli jumped up and down in his spirited, animated fashion, saying, "You were like an ultra-sexy bombshell! Way to go!"
Carrie Ann Inaba, who aided Kane in rehearsals, agreed: "Hot! Hot! Hot! Chelsea, you're on fire. That was so what I was wanting from you. You got down, you got dirty, you got sensual."
Judges gave them a 29/30 for their samba and went wild during their freestyle routine, giving them a perfect 30/30. Score: 59/60.
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: The elder stateswoman in the competition held her own. Judges found her samba to be elegant and full of womanhood but said she needed to play to her audience better.
"I love what you did. I love your movement quality. That was a really great samba," Inaba said.
Goodman agreed. "It was less aggressive, less full-on. But it had a lovely naturalness about it. It could have been a little bit crisper. But lovely job," Goodman said. Alley ended up with a 27/30 for the first round.
When the couple performed again, judges applauded their risk-taking. "Honest truth: 10 weeks ago, I would never have thought of you even attempting to do lifts and things you've done tonight. You have to really appreciate what you've achieved," Tonioli said. "Respect, girl, respect."
Inaba said her freestyle routine embodied what Alley has become: "the new poster child for life as it should be lived at 60 years old." Score: 54/60.
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson: By the time Ward and his partner were done with their round-one routine, the audience leapt to its feet.
"You are able to make it be like you're running for a touchdown! The whole audience follows you. It makes me forget that I'm supposed to be judging. I love that," Inaba said.
Goodman critiqued the routine, saying, "as good as that was ... for me, it's not quite there yet. This competition is still anyone's to win or lose. Come back in that freestyle and really show me the wow factor. I know you've got it."
Tonioli disagreed: "It was like watching a mega-production on Broadway. Full of excitement. You connect with the audience like no one. You're just an entertainer. It's brilliant."
For their freestyle, they created what Hines called a halftime show. Tonioli cheered it, saying it was a crowd-pleasing event.
"That wasn't really a halftime show. That was the whole damn Super Bowl!" Inaba cheered.
Goodman said, "This competition is about give-and-take. The more you give, the more points you take. You've just given your all!" They earned 29/30 for round one, and their freestyle earned a perfect 30/30. Score: 59/60.
Who do you think will come out on top in Tuesday's finale? Let us know in the comments!