It’s the end of the road for Dancing with the Stars season 24. Normani is arguably the frontrunner at this point, looking to get Val his third Mirror Ball and second win in a row. But Rashad and David aren’t giving up without a fight to the finish.

'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: The Final 3 Perform Their Freestyles

The scores and votes from last week’s Semifinals and tonight, plus Tuesday’s 24-hour fusion challenge, will all be combined to determine the winner. For Monday’s one-hour event, the couples will all perform a redemption dance to a style they’ve done before plus their Freestyles. Remember that, in the last five seasons, Jana Kramer is the only person who failed to get a perfect score for her Freestyle.

Also worth watching out for is that, in the last 12 seasons, Kelly Monaco and Candace Cameron-Bure are the only stars to finish in the Top 3 without ever receiving a perfect score. Will Rashad or David join that list?

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The show is only one hour and we have six routines, so not much time for filler. Redemption dances are up first and we end with the Freestyles.

David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: Viennese Waltz

David knows he’s not the best dancer and the fans are the only reason he’s still here. Meh. His performance is classy and joyful, but it’s not finale-caliber dancing. Len Goodman didn’t see much improvement and his bum was still sticking out, but Julianne Hough disagrees (and she lies when she says that he deserves to be in this finale). They all appreciate how lovable he is.

Judges’  Scores: 8+8+9+8=33

The judges are definitely going to make sure that he doesn’t win, even if he’s getting more votes than the other two. This is only 2 points better than his original Viennese Waltz back in week 4.

Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: Quickstep

They’re going back to week 1 when Len gave them a 6. She twisted her ankle in rehearsals, adding even more pressure. The opening is too long for me and not really a Quickstep, but then it gets going and it’s insanely fast. She doesn’t look like her usual exceptional self and, of course, there are two high kicks. Julianne admits that she hasn’t seen much improvement because Normani was always good, but this wasn’t her best and Len agrees that there wasn’t enough body contact. Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba rave about it.

Judges’ Scores: 10+9+9+10=38

Carrie Ann and Bruno are fools who were clearly gonna give Normani 10s no matter what. But she’s up 11 points on this style from week 1.

Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: Viennese Waltz

They’re redoing their Viennese Waltz from week 2, which is actually one of my favorite routines he did all season. Emma really, really wants to win. It’s a sequel to that dance, still passionate and sensual. The judges love how refined and majestic he is, with Bruno calling him a polished diamond. Carrie Ann calls it magic and Len saw a ton of improvement. The judges seem to be putting their thumb on the scale for him to win.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

He finally gets his first perfect score, up 8 points from his first VW. And it’s Emma’s first perfect score ever.

David and Lindsay: Freestyle

This is all about entertaining the fans. It’s a huge production with baseball bats, troupe members, and ’80s hip-hop. It’s a fun spectacle, exactly what you want in a Freestyle. The judges love the in-sync entertainment.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

And we’re back to “Every Freestyle gets a perfect score.” Man, Jana has to feel like crap being the only person not to get a perfect Freestyle in the past six seasons.

Normani and Val: Freestyle

It’s beautiful, hopeful, full of love, and perfectly danced. The routine is positively inspirational and magical (and of course there are two more high kicks). To tug on the heartstrings, they even bring out two little kids to dance with them, which might be a promo for the new Dancing with the Stars Junior. The judges love her light and soul.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

She earned it.

Rashad and Emma: Freestyle

Rashad loves marching band drum lines and wants to add that into the dance. Damn, he puts the “fun” in FUNKY! This is just one hell of a great time with awesome moves, a cool drum line breakdown, big lifts, and more swagger than I’ve ever seen on this show. Damn, that would probably show up on my list of the 10 best Freestyles ever. Julianne agrees, saying that it’s going into the book of iconic Freestyles.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

Rashad may have just won it. But more often than not, the person who I want to win doesn’t, so I’m cautiously optimistic.



157: Rashad Jennings
154: Normani Kordei
143: David Ross

The Dancing with the Stars season 24 finale airs Tuesday, May 23 at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.