Rob Karashian has a leg up going into the final night of competition …
The two-part Dancing with the Stars finale performance episodes kicked off on Monday night with the remaining three couple’s performing two routines for the judges.
Tuesday night will be a dancing extravaganza. The remaining three couples will dance the Samba once more for the judges. The previously booted competitors will all hit the dance floor for one last performance with their pro partners.
Monday turned out to be another big night for Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke. After being conspicuously absent from the audience in recent weeks, reality celeb Kim Kardashian cheered her brother on from the family rooting section.
Rob, 24, leads the pack going into the second night of performances, chalking up 9,9,9 for his waltz, and 10,10,10 for his freestyle performance to Minnie the Moocher.
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff experienced agony and elation after getting the lowest score of the evening for their Cha-Cha-Cha, and a set of perfect 10′s for their ambitious freestyle danced to Whine Up.
The most consistent pair this season, Ricki Lake and Derek Hough, were given solid 9′s for their two performances but the judges have suddenly cooled on the fair-haired dance pro and his talk show host partner.
It is subtle but the praise they enjoyed early and often in the competition has diminished. Hough has danced all three of his previous finale partners to victory: Brooke Burke, Nicole Scherzinger, and Jennifer Grey.
He isn’t the only pro who knows how to win. Cheryl Burke was successful in back-to-back wins in season two and three: Drew Lacey, Emmitt Smith.
Karina Smirnoff’s best showing was a second place finish during season three with Mario Lopez. Can she and the war hero beat out the competition? She really has sacrificed a great deal this season, calling off her wedding to MLB player Brad Penny in order to devote herself fully to J.R. Martinez.
Check out more photos from last night and view their freestyle performances below. We’re thinking that Hough and Lake may have been intentionally snubbed with their less than perfect scores:
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