Bill Engvall's time may be up as 'Dancing with the Stars' sets up its final 3 for the championships
Colin McDermott, newsnet5.com
12:57 PM, Nov 26, 2013
The new champion will soon be crowned for the 17 th season of "Dancing with the Stars."
It's down to the finale three for Tuesday night's finale, after the fourth-to-last couple was cut. So put on your best Indiana Jones costume because we're about to breakdown the hijinks.
First up, the show opens with reigning champ Kellie Pickler singing a song, then host Tom Bergeron chats her up – before we ever see the four remaining couples. These guys got three dances to do tonight.
First up, judges' choice, in which the judges pick a dance for the couples to "improve" upon from earlier this season.
Comedian Bill Engvall and Emma redo their Viennese waltz from week 5. It was his highest scoring dance all season, but that's not good enough for the judges. The routine is light and dreamy. Bill and Emma have great fluidity and flow, nice footwork, and some genuinely beautiful sweeps. Judge Len Goodman saw improvement but says they lost timing. Judge Bruno Tonioli says their timing is not a Swiss watch. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba says Bill operates on his own level. Ouch? Score: 24.
Disney star Corbin Bleu and Karina redo their quickstep from week 3. Corbin just does not seem as sharp or fast-footed as prior routines. It's entertaining with lots of content and activity, but I was not wowed. Len says there was improvement "for me." Hmm. Bruno says Corbin went out of sync. Carrie Ann doesn't see an improvement. Slam! Score: 27.
Reality star Jack Osbourne and Cheryl redo their jive from week 7. His footwork is better but I'm still not blown away here either. It's like he's catching up to her. There is a good segment with nice kicks. Bruno likes the kicks and flicks, but timing went out the window. Carrie Ann says it's not a 10 this time. Yikes. Len says the good news is they still have two more dances. Yikes! Score: 24.
"Glee" actress Amber Riley and Derek redo their Charleston from week 3. I loved this dance the first time. It's even better now. Their sync is sick. I had to watch it again. Carrie Ann hugs Amber. The crowd is roaring. Carrie Ann says Amber completely outdid herself. Len says it's the most improved of all couples. Bruno says footwork was sharp as a razor blade. Score: perfect 30.
Tom asks Kellie her thoughts on the couples. She says Bill has the best personality, Corbin is easy on the eye, Jack is brave, and Amber is a firecracker.
Dance two: samba relay. It's the first time all couples will be on the floor dancing back to back. First place gets five extra points and so on with fourth place getting two extra points.
TLC, with Lil Mama, performs "No Scrubs" for the relay. I think it's the exact same lipsync from 1999.
Jack and Cheryl start off the relay with a very straightforward samba; no mistakes. They hand off to Amber and Derek, who have much more ambition, energy and demanding content. Samba rolls, too. Bill and Emma take over with a routine peppered with humor. It's not ambitious, but still in the samba spirit. Corbin and Karina open their part with samba rolls. They have broad, sweeping gestures and very-involved choreography.
Len likes the relay because it was clean. Bruno says it was samba for every taste. Carrie Ann is impressed for Corbin's first samba, liked Amber's undulations, thought Jack had a nice comeback, and loved Bill's transitions.
Fourth place goes to Bill, who gets two extra points. Third place to Jack with three points. Second place to Amber with four points. First place to Corbin with five points.
Now the most favorite part of the whole season: the freestyle.
Bill and Emma are back with the theme to Indiana Jones. Oh, and he's Indy doing a stunt from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and she's Elsa from "Last Crusade." They're kind of mixing their Indy metaphors here. This has tons of over-the-top choreography with a great story: it's pure fun. They use a whip as a prop the whole time, and Bill whips Emma around with it. Afterwards, Bill tears his shirt off. Cannot. Be. Unseen. Len says he thoroughly enjoyed it. Bruno calls it was indescribable but insanely good fun. Carrie Ann says Bill is the Everyman who became a dancing hero. Score: 25, 51 overall.
Corbin and Karina channel Michael Jackson for "Smooth Criminal." Talk about a big, demanding number. They are lowered upside down, a la "Mission: Impossible" harnesses, before they grab their Michael fedoras. It's perfectly-executed entertainment, with some great popping and locking. And a moonwalk! Four male backup dancers toss Karina around. It's like watching a highly-produced music video. The crowd loves it. Bruno calls Corbin a merciless assassin who killed it. Carrie Ann says they made her miss Michael. Len stands up to applaud. Score: perfect 30, 62 overall.
Corbin tweeted, "Finals here we come! Thank YOU so much for caring and VOTING! Pls dial, click and tweet away! #encoreCORBIN ."
Jack and Cheryl perform a very big, classic Hollywood number with a top hat theme and more backup dancers. It's sweeping and romantic
at first. They look more comfortable than they usually do. Their sync is good with great lifts and spins. Carrie Ann calls it a showstopper. Len says Jack's family should be proud. Bruno says hooray for Hollywood and hooray for Jack. Cheryl is in tears. Score: perfect 30, 57 overall. Len wants an 11.
Jack tweeted, "THANK YOU so much to everyone supporting @CherylBurke & me on @DancingABC . We're in the final-finals & couldn't have made it withoutout you!"
Amber and Derek are last with a Western saloon-themed freestyle. They simply nail the wild, overboard choreography with impressive sync and amazing energy. Amber impressively leads six male backup dancers. Just sit back and enjoy the show, folks. Len says Amber was the only one he watched. Bruno calls her a leading lady with star power and charisma. Carrie Ann calls her a diva dancing James Brown. Score: perfect 30, 64 overall.
Amber tweeted, "I have no clue why I am up so early lol I must be excited! I also just realized I've never voted myself this whole season ."
The couple who gets the most tweets will get to perform an encore of their freestyle Tuesday evening.
The show now sets up for Tuesday's finale, in which the couples will perform a fusion dance. That's when they must choreograph – in less than 24 hours – a new dance that combines two different dance styles. The lowest-scoring couple will pick the fusion styles for the highest-scoring couples.
Bill picks "quickstep samba" for Amber. Jack picks "cha cha foxtrot" for Corbin. Corbin picks "paso salsa" for Jack. Bill is left with "jive quickstep."
Except now it's time to eliminate the lowest-scoring couple. So the dances we just picked will be meaningless for one couple.
Amber is safe. Corbin is safe.
So between Jack and Bill… it's Bill going home.
He survived for a long time with his fatherly charm and steady improvement, but he has been the lowest-scoring star for some time.
Bill says his elimination: "proves to me there is a God because I don't think I could take one more dance."
The competition continues Tuesday night at 9:00 on ABC with a two-hour finale. Expect lots of guest performances from Lady Antebellum, Enrique Iglesias, and Colbie Caillat, not to mention some surprise star appearances. And you can still tweet for an encore from Corbin, Amber or Jack.