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‘Dancing with the Stars’ finals recap: shocking elimination, freestyle euphoria

The first night of finals for season 18 of “Dancing with the Stars” was the end of the road for one couple as the remaining 3 move toward the final night. One professional danced with a serious injury, according to People’s May 19 report. . One celebrity got airborne and one couple’s public displays of affection were duly noted. Read on to find out who did what.

Maks and Meryl from their freestyle on season 18 of 'Dacning with the Stars'
Photo by Youtube (Screen Capture)

Week 10 was ‘Judges’ Pick” week and head judge Len Goodman announced that the couples would be doing the same dance style they did during “switch Up” week but this time with their original partners. This would be followed by the highly anticipated freestyle routine. Votes from last week along with this week’s judge’s scores would be used to determine who got sent home on Monday.

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd did a tango which Len called sharp and clean. Bruno called it ‘dangerous’, ‘passionate’ and ‘focused.’ Carrie Ann knocked off a point because James seemed uptight to her. Score 29 out of 30

For their freestyle, the couple went edgy and incorporated some martial arts moves. Bruno Tonioli called James a post-apocalyptic hero, while Carrie Ann said he was the most versatile of the competitors and that he “killed it.” Len kept his remarks kind but took off a point, most likely because it wasn’t his preferred type of dance style. Score 29 out of 50. Total: 58 out of 60

Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy revisited the Argentine tango that was in Carrie’ Ann’s words, perfection. Bruno thought the couple was ever more stunning than before and Len called it the ‘dance of the night.’ Score: A perfect 30.

Their freestyle was a sensual, almost a rumba-style dance with a touch of contemporary. The judge’s comments really say it all.

Carrie Anne: You guys should get married. It was a soulful expression of self.

Bruno: As close as it gets to a flawless work of art.

Len: There’s good, there’s great and then there’s Meryl.

Score: A perfect 30. Total: 60 out of 60

Candace Cameron Bure danced with an injured Mark Ballas who appeared in the opening with his arm in a sling. Ballas dislocated his shoulder while executing a lift with Bure on Sunday in camera blocking rehearsals. The pair did a quickstep that was Candace’s best dance of the season. Len said it was the toughest dance and she did it well. Score: 27 out of 30.

For their freestyle, the pair did a disco-y type dance that fell flat. It had plenty of lifts and action but Carrie Ann said Bure ‘didn’t quite hit it.’ Score: 34 out of 30. Total: 51 out of 60.

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough did what Len called a ‘bright, colorful’ salsa. Carrie Ann remarked on the huge improvement from the last time Purdy did the salsa. Score: A perfect 30.

Derek choreographed a very uplifting freestyle, literally. Amy spent a great deal of time off the ground and at the end, in the air. The routine climaxed with Purdy strapping her arm to a rope. She was then hoisted into the air where Derek twirled her like a circus performer. Len didn’t think the rope trick was necessary given Amy’s capabilities on the dance floor so he knocked a point off. Bruno called lyrical and evolved. Score: 29 out of 30. Total: 59 out of 60.

In a shocking elimination, it was James Maslow who was sent home in 4th place, one night shy of the finale. The judges and studio crowd were shocked.

"I've really had an amazing experience on this," Maslow said after learning his fate. "I enjoyed it more than I ever thought was possible."

Season 18 of “Dancing with the Stars” wraps up on Tuesday night. All the stars will be back for a final performance. The fans were asked to vote via Twitter for the freestyle routine they want to see as an encore performance. The final 3 will dance one more routine before being judged and a champion chosen.