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Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/22/2011

‘Dancing With the Stars’: Final three perform, and a Kardashian takes the lead


The final three couples danced on the last performance night of the season. (Adam Taylor - ABC)

On the final performance night of “Dancing With the Stars” Season 13, three dancers remain: a contestant that was a given (talk show host Ricki Lake); a contestant that had a pretty good chance (actor J.R. Martinez); and a contestant that no one expected (Rob Kardashian, whose only job in life so far is being a Kardashian).

Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke Charvet remind us that one of these three will win the hideous but highly coveted mirror ball trophy in tomorrow night’s finale. But first, they each have two dances, including one style they haven’t performed yet, and a freestyle.

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough

Dance #1: Cha Cha Cha

Ricki’s racked up more points than any other contestant this season, but Carrie Ann still drops by rehearsal and tells Ricki she needs to be “sexier” during performances. Ricki reminds us yet again that she has body issues from being overweight when she was younger. Carrie Ann doesn’t buy this excuse and says if Ricki is able to embrace her new self, that the guys should watch out because “this girl is taking home the trophy.” During the cha cha cha, Ricki shakes her hips and twirls while trying to maintain a come-hither look, and Derek impressively whips her around at the end.

Len calls it an “action packed” performance, and while it could have been more fluid, it was a finals-worthy dance. Bruno says she was very sexy, so mission accomplished. Carrie Ann, on the other hand, goes with “fierce” to describe the dance. Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points.

Dance #2: Freestyle

Ricki tells Derek to bring on the tough routine, then physically tries to bolt out of the rehearsal room when he says he’s going to spin her around like a plank. Finally, Ricki calms down, but Derek continues to bark orders at her — it’s strategy, he says, because when he’s tough on her, she dances better. Whatever Derek did, it worked, as he shows off his upper arm strength by tossing Ricki around every which way, even using her head like a bench press at one point. Ricki holds her own while transitioning from the salsa to the quickstep, spinning around and never falling over.

The combination of salsa and quickstep wow all the judges, even if Ricki lost her steps a little at the end. Bruno says it was the most demanding of dances, and they did a great job. Score: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points, and 54 overall.

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke

Dance #1: Waltz

Rob is the only finalist who has not received a perfect score yet, and it won’t be with his waltz as he struggles to keep up with Cheryl. Bruno accompanies them during rehearsal and thinks Rob could win because he has the element of surprise — as in, no one thought he would make it nearly this far. On the dance floor, Rob isn’t exactly “graceful,” but he keeps a huge smile on his face the whole time, even when he bungles some steps.

Carrie Ann calls Rob the male version of Cinderella who made it to the ball, and she likes the performance. “You had more rise and fall than Pam Anderson jogging,” Len says, adding that Rob lost his posture — the audience disagrees and boos loudly. Tom Bergeron refers to Rob as “Cinderfella,” and the camera catches a hilariously confused look on Rob’s face, who either didn’t hear Tom Bergeron correctly, or somehow doesn’t get the joke. Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points.

Dance #2: Freestyle

After a Kirstie Alley sighting in the audience, we see Cheryl inform Rob in rehearsal that since he’s so much better at slow dances, the performance will start out at a snail’s pace and get increasingly faster. Sure enough, they slow it down at first, but then get quicker as Rob drags Cheryl across the floor and then picks her up over his head, spinning her around and around and around as fast as he can. The high-speed motion gets the best of Rob, who has trouble standing up at the end of the performance and looks quite nauseated.

As Rob tries to catch his breath, the judges are ecstatic and call the dance brilliant. Chalk it up to Rob — he sure knows when to start having talent. The scores prove his impeccable timing: 10, 10, 10 for a total of 30 points, and 57 overall. We see lots of screaming Kardashians in the audience.

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff

Dance #1: Cha Cha Cha

Len drops by rehearsal with J.R., still recovering after his ankle injury last week, and motivates the pair by reminding Karina that Derek and Cheryl have both won mirror ball trophies, so she needs to step up her game. They instantly win for best theatrics, as Karina starts by shaking on top of the judges table, as J.R. grooves in the audience, and then as they meet in the dance floor for some more shimmying.

After gushing that everyone loves J.R., Carrie Ann thinks J.R.’s musicality was off. Len isn’t as kind, saying J.R.’s enthusiasm got the better of him, and the whole dance wasn’t very good. Bruno starts off on a good note and raves about the mood that J.R. brings to the ballroom, even if his hands were out of place during the dance. Scores: 8, 7, 9 for a total of 24 points.

Dance #2: Freestyle

Karina choreographs a salsa-style routine, then creates an extremely complicated dance in which J.R. has to flip her around and catch her by the neck. She gets shaken when the moves turn out to be incredibly risky. During the performance, however, J.R. does the lifts flawlessly as Karina flips upside down without a problem. J.R. also wears the least gaudy “DWTS” costume of all time — white pants and a pink hoodie with only a few sparkles, making the routine resemble a salsa aerobics video, with just a few more scary flips.

“Those lifts are the sickest lifts I’ve ever seen!” Carrie Ann shrieks, nearly taking out Len as she jumps up and down. Len and Bruno are just as enthusiastic, but without the jumping. No surprise: 10, 10, 10 for a total of 30 points, and 54 overall.

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FULL COVERAGE:

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By  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/22/2011

 
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