The final ballroom brawl is set for tonight with four celebrities and their pro partners all gearing up to chase the coveted mirror ball trophy. So, who has the best chance of winning in 2014? The finalists are Candace Cameron Bure, Meryl Davis, James Maslow, and Amy Purdy. How are the four remaining couples handling the pressure of the finale that airs on May 19, with a winner crowned on May 20?
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas face the biggest challenge on Monday night. The darling of “Full House” has the lowest combined judges’ scores, but she has shown consistent improvement. On Sunday, her partner, Mark Ballas dropped to the floor, wincing in pain, when his shoulder popped out during a lift in rehearsal. According to Us Magazine, paramedics rushed in and Ballas was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The 1-time mirror ball trophy winner is determined to dance on Monday, but “DWTS” executives recruited another pro to learn the steps of his two dances with Candace – just in case. Because of the last minute injury and stiff competition, this team is a long shot to win “DWTS,” but they could definitely take the Heart Award for pure determination.
Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy are set to perform the Argentine Tango and a freestyle routine. This couple has been on fire most of the season. They’re extremely popular with fans because of their unbridled chemistry. In fact, Meryl has tamed the wild beast and reformed bad boy Maks. People Magazine calls their chemistry “undeniable” and adds that they “bring out the best in each other.” The passionate Russian has stated in the past that this is by far his favorite season and that Meryl is his favorite partner. Their chances of winning are extremely high, especially if Maks can pull a rabbit out of his hat with super-sized tricks and dazzling effects during their no-holds-barred freestyle.
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd may not be the best dancers, but they have a huge fan base that has kept them in the running on “DWTS.” James is popular with the ladies and has shown improvement, but not as much as the other three finaliss. According to Peta, the two have put in 12-hour days and they’re ready to come out with guns blazing. “I can’t wait to show you our freestyle and Tango,” Murgatroyd posted on Twitter. The fact that the two dated in the past has fans piqued, but probably not enough to propel them to the top. According to TV Guide, Maslow and Murgatroyd have just a 50:1 chance of winning “DWTS.”
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough finish out the field of four finalists and they have a good chance at snagging the mirror ball trophy. The two are set to dance a Salsa, in addition to their freestyle routine. They have done amazing things on the dance floor and Purdy has impressed the voting public and judges alike. However, can Derek produce another awe-inspiring routine? As the only 5-time champion (with partners Brooke Burke, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler, and Amber Riley), he knows what it takes to win. Despite getting kicked in the head and blacking out for five seconds during rehearsals, Hough is in great form and looking to make history again by winning back-to-back-to-back mirror balls.
So, the stage is set for a smashing showdown. While most media outlets are predicting a win for Meryl Davis and Maks C., GoldDerby warns people not to count out Amy and Derek. Meryl and Amy will definitely finish in 1st and 2nd place, but the order is uncertain. Candace should place third, with James bringing up the rear with a fourth place finish.
On Monday, May 19, the four remaining couples will compete in two rounds of dance (including the all-important freestyle round). ABC promises super-sized special effects, additional dancers and unexpected surprises. At the end of Monday night, one couple will be eliminated based on the previous week's viewer votes, combined with the judges' scores from the previous Monday night.
On Tuesday night, “DWTS” kicks off with a high-energy performance featuring a reunion of all 12 of this season’s couples. The finale will also feature a performance to “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” by Team Loca, giving viewers at home a chance to watch the routine live with Amy Purdy, as she was unable to dance during the original Team Night due to an injury.
Additionally, viewers will be treated to encore performances by Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke to “You Can’t Sit Down,” NeNe Leakes to “Grown Woman” featuring six pro dancers, Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy to “Be Our Guest,” and Charlie White and Sharna Burgess to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Additionally, Olympic Gold Medalist partners Charlie White and Meryl Davis will dance together for the first time.
In the last element of competition, the couples will perform a new routine as part of a “24-Hour Fusion Challenge.” The remaining couples will fuse two contrasting dance styles that they’ve performed this season. They’ll have less than 24 hours to prepare that dance for judges’ points.
Last season’s mirror ball trophy winner, Amber Riley, will return to perform “Do Your Thing” plus her first single “Colorblind.” The finale will also feature musical performances by Christina Perri (singing her ballad “Human"), Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX (performing their hit “Fancy"), season 18 contestant Cody Simpson (singing “Surfboard"), and Ariana Grande (performing her new single “Problem").
At the end of the night, the public vote from Monday night will be combined with the judges' scores from both nights to crown the Season 18 Champion. Who do you think will take home the mirror ball trophy?