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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 18: A dramatic final and surprising elimination

Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White will be ballroom dancing together in the Season 18 Grand Finale of "Dancing With the Stars"
Photo by Jonathan Leibson

It’s all over but the shouting for Season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars.” The final on Monday, May 19, saw the surprising elimination of James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd, which left his fans shocked.

Four couples danced for the privilege of competing for the mirror ball trophy. Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are odds-on favorites to win. Still, don’t count out the amazing Amy Purdy nipping at their heels. Amy is an inspirational story unlike any other as the woman with no legs has danced her way right up to the end.

And then there’s Candace Cameron Bure, D.J. Tanner from the TV show “Full House.” Candace has struggled the hardest throughout the season with a confidence problem. In the beginning, the large crowds and live performance threw her off. Her confidence failed and she would falter, the whole thing clearly evident on her face. Midway through the season, she let the audience watch as she faced a sports psychologist who gave her one basic word of encouragement – "Breathe."

Most people who watch the show for the numbers really thought it would be Candace going home tonight and not James. What happened? It’s always difficult to say. Every season, it comes down to the question of what “Dancing With the Stars” is. Is it a dance contest or a popularity contest? Actually, it’s a little bit of both. Yes, you have to dance well to make it past the first few weeks. But no matter how well you dance, if you don’t have a fan base to vote week after week, you’re not going to make it.

So tomorrow night, “Dancing With the Stars” goes all out. There is a one-hour “Road to the Finals” show at 8 p.m. eastern time on ABC. Then comes the massive, hold-nothing-back grand finale. The three couples will dance their hearts out, but the outcome will have already been decided. Voting closes 15 hours after tonight's final ends.

Who will win? Odds makers have it down to a hot contest between Meryl and Amy. Still, as has been proven week after week, you can’t count out Candace and her fans. Low scores don’t necessarily lose.

Tomorrow night's grand finale also brings great entertainment. A very special part of that finale will be Olympians Charlie White, eliminated last week, and Meryl Davis finally dancing together on a hard surface that’s not ice. That's definitely something not to be missed.

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