It's a blitz of bangles, a spectacle of sequins and rhinestones! It's the penultimate night of Season 16 of "Dancing With the Stars," when the four remaining celebrities and their pro partners do everything they can to win and take home the Mirrorball Trophy tomorrow night.

 

Each of the couples had to do a judges' choice dance (one they had done earlier in the season), a cha-cha relay and the "incredible, supersized" freestyle that should rock the house. This was the last night for viewers to vote for their favorite and for each celebrity's fan base to go crazy casting votes. However, it was announced, first with a notice on the screen and then by host Tom Bergeron, that ABC.com was down, so all the voting had to be done by phone, texting or Facebook. Oops.

Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy perform during ’Dancing with the Stars’ on Monday, May 20, 2013. (ABC/Adam Taylor)
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy perform during 'Dancing with the Stars' on Monday, May 20, 2013. (ABC/Adam Taylor) (Adam Taylor)

 

Midway through the show, Tom remarked that the show was live and so was affected by the news of the Boston bombings in April and the tornados that ripped through Oklahoma today. He quietly said that he had asked the audience not to applaud when coming back from commercial break, as a tribute to those involved, but then asked for a round of applause for the bravery of all of the first responders and volunteers. Well done.

 

JACOBY JONES AND KARINA SMIRNOFF


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First to dance were Jacoby and Karina. Their judges' choice dance was the jive, which I really looked forward to seeing Jacoby do. It just seemed like his kind of dance the last time they did it. Tonight, he was good but seemed tired. He missed a couple of steps at the start, and then forgot parts of the routine. Even his mom must have thought he was lagging because she wasn't yelling at head judge Len Goodman for a 10. Len said Jacoby showed improvement but that he lost steps in his excitement, and judge Bruno Tonioli agreed. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said he brought his swagger, but that he missed some steps. Score: three 9s.

 

Determined by drawing numbers, Jacoby and Karina were the second couple to dance in the cha-cha relay and I must say Jacoby had the best entrance (leaping over Kellie and Derek) and exit (sliding between the legs of Aly and Mark). However, he just looked a bit wiped out during the dancing. The judges praised all of the couples together then issued points, from a high of five to a low of two. Jacoby and Karina were in fourth place and got two points.

 

The pair decided to make their freestyle a salute to New Orleans, Jacoby's hometown, with a Baltimore flair, for the Ravens football team. It did seem like a party, with marching dancers, tap dancing, and all kinds of action. But I think Carrie Ann had it exactly right when she said, "It felt like all the dancers, etc., outshined you." Jacoby seemed to get lost in all the hoopla, although his mom yelled that it was "unique," and Len called it a "full-on, flat-out attack." Score: three 9s.

 

ALY RAISMAN AND MARK BALLAS

The judges' choice dance for Aly and Mark was the samba, and for the life of me, I can't get used to an Olympic gymnast emphasizing her boobs and shimmying like crazy. Mark loves to have the spotlight on him and this dance seemed like it was loaded with his trademark moves, whether they worked for Aly or not. She did a good job of bringing the excitement of the samba to the ballroom. Bruno kind of leered at her in her costume, while Carrie Ann told her that she had the momentum and that she had the attributes of all the dancers in the finals, combined. Len agreed that she "was on her way up." Score: two 9s and a 10 (from Bruno).

 

They danced third in the cha-cha relay and did a good job of selling the dance, if not the best cha-cha. Len hit the nail on the head when he said, "This is the four who deserved to be in the finals." And Carrie Ann added, "You are all so fantastic and so diverse." Aly and Mark did a good cha-cha, but not a knock-your-socks-off dance. They got third place and three extra points.

 

The freestyle was unusual, with Aly going along with whatever Mark suggested. The main feature was a pair of strippers' poles atop a platform about 20 feet high. There were a few moments of Mark wanting to make it shorter as he isn't good with heights, but there wasn't time. The costumes and facepaint were "other-worldly" for a dance that Bruno called, "futuristic with a touch of exotic. To synchronize on poles is impossible but you did it." Len dubbed Aly, "Alexandra the Great," and Carrie Ann commented that they "never stop pushing the boundaries." Score: three 10s.

 

KELLIE PICKLER AND DEREK HOUGH

Kellie and Derek danced a terrific quickstep earlier in the season, and that was their judges' choice dance. The only thing that they were marked down for earlier was that their bodies weren't close enough in hold, but Kellie vowed to tape them together, if needed. Their dance was fast, sharp and great. Len told them it was exciting and that they were "as close as a stamp on a letter," and Bruno said they couldn't have put in more content if they tried. Carrie Ann was thrilled that they were "tight, tight, tight." Score: three 10s.

 

They were the first couple to dance the cha-cha relay, and it seemed like they needed someone before them to get their motor running. It was well done but not exceptional. They finished second and received four extra points.

 

Kellie and Derek's freestyle dance was the huge standout of the evening for me. Anyone who watched the routine, which didn't have a lot of extra dancers or special effects but just great dance moves, and didn't have a tear or two in their eye is too hard-hearted. In tears, Carrie Ann said, "You just bared your soul." Len said, "Good dancing engages the brain, great dancing engages the heart," and stood to give the couple a rare Goodman ovation. Bruno said it was a "dance of spell-binding beauty." Score: three 10s (although both Len and Bruno wanted to make it an 11).

 

ZENDAYA AND VAL CHMERKOVSKIY

The judges' choice dance for Zendaya and Val was the samba, as it had been for Aly and Mark. But their routine was very different -- more in hold, less shaking, more dance steps. It was really good and Carrie Ann thought it was "magical." Zendaya has a natural ability to move her body well and Val showed it to perfection. Len had the best line: "It was eye-poppin', show-stoppin', jaw-droppin'." The routine had a wonderful combination of rhythms, from fast, quick moves to slow, slinky steps. Score: three 10s.

 

The couple danced last in the cha-cha relay and that may have just pushed them to make it better than anyone else's. There were difficult moves and an excellent flow. They finished in first place and gained five extra points.

 

Zendaya and Val's freestyle had everything on the dance floor. Kellie and Derek's freestyle was "strictly dance," but Zendaya and Val's routine had a bit of cha-cha, some contemporary with lifts and slow moves, and then hip-hop with a group of dancing youngsters. She began the dance in a light with the voices of her parents and of fans encouraging her, and I think it did. Bruno said she had "unique luminosity" and Carrie Ann said she "brought it home, sealed the deal." Score: three 10s, of course.

 

During tomorrow night's two-hour finale, one couple will be eliminated during the first hour. The remaining three couples will do an "Instant Dance," and will be given the type of dance and the music only minutes earlier. The scores for that dance will be added to the scores from tonight, and one pair will be sent home. Then it will be between the final two pairs to determine the winner. I have no idea what the various fan clubs and groups are doing to get out the votes for their favorite, but if I had my way, the final two would be Zendaya and Val, and Kellie and Derek. And in the end, that Mirrorball Trophy would look mighty nice in Kellie's trailer while she's singing in concerts. Who do you think should win? Who do you think will win?

 

The celebrities and their scores

(judges' choice, cha-cha relay, freestyle, total):

Zendaya and Val -- 30 + 5 + 30 = 65

Kellie and Derek -- 30 + 4 + 30 = 64

Aly and Mark -- 28 + 3 + 30 = 61

Jacoby and Karina -- 27 + 2 + 27 = 56