‘Dancing With The Stars’ finals: Rashad, Normani, and David neck and neck

With scores so close, the Mirror Ball Trophy winner will be chosen by fan votes.

The three finalists pulled out all the stops for their final routines on "Dancing With The Stars" Monday. Now it's up to the fans. Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, May 22, 2017 – The three Season 24 finalists on “Dancing With The Stars” played to their strengths and their personalities in the finals on Monday. They all offer a different take on their dance journeys this season.

Live DWTS Chat: Rashad Jennings, Normani Kordei or David Rossy will win

David Ross would win the ‘Most Improved’ award this season without any question. Photo: ABC

In the first round of redemption dances, two Viennese Waltzes were broken up by a Quickstep. Chicago Cubs player David Ross isn’t the best dancer from a technical standpoint, but he is most improved, wildly popular with a wonderful fun-loving attitude and the best possible representative Major League Baseball could have hoped for. The judges all praised his effort and scored the dance 33 points.

Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy danced a devilish Quickstep. Photo: ABC

Normani Kordei’s Quickstep took a darker dancing with the devil approach. It was fast, but was it TOO fast? Judge Len Goodman thought so, and judge Julianne Hough also saw issues. The choice of wearing a skin tight catsuit might have hurt her. The routine scored 38 points.

Rashad Jennings put it all together in his Redemption Viennese Waltz with Emma Slater. Photo: ABC

Rashad Jennings went for a more classic approach to the Viennese Waltz with a little “50 Shades” flavor, and it suited him and pro partner Emma Slater perfectly. He finally got the foot pointing right and he was smooth as silk. Rashad and Emma got their first perfect score of the season with 40 points.

On to the Freestyle routines. No surprises from any of the couples. If you had listened to the choice of music with eyes closed, you still would have known exactly which couple was dancing.

All David Ross and Lindsay Arnold lacked was a hot dog and a beer in their baseball theme freestyle. Photo: ABC

David and Lindsay went for a crowd-pleasing, high energy baseball team theme. It featured David’s strength and good cheer, with some impressive tricks. Lindsay Arnold gave David the perfect choreography. He said “Being in the finals is more than I ever expected … There’s nothing cooler than someone liking you as a person.” David and Lindsay received their first perfect score of 40 points.

Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy danced an angelic Contemporary routine for their Freestyle dance. Photo: ABC

Normani and Val performed a lovely Contemporary routine to Audra Day’s version of “What the World Needs Now.” It was angelic, light and lovely. It emphasized Normani’s grace and lines. The couple got an assist from two adorable young ballroom dancers named Aaliyah and JT. “I feel like I’m a different person walking out than I came in, thank you” said Normani. The routine also received a perfect score of 40 points.

Rashad Jenning and Emma Slater put together the DWTS version of a Super Bowl halftime for their Freestyle. Photo: ABC

Closing the show, Rashad and Emma put on their own version of a halftime show, worthy of any Super Bowl. Rashad combined the crowd-pleasing aspects of David’s routine with the skill of Normani’s routine, full of style and fun. The crowd and judges loved it. “I’ve never won the big game, and this is my chance to do it. Game on!” said Rashad.

Tuesday night, all three couples will perform one more new routine as part of the traditional 24-Hour Fusion Challenge. The couples will fuse two contrasting dance styles they have already performed this season, with less than 24 hours to prepare their dance for judges’ points.

The viewer votes and judges’ points from May 15 and May 22 will be combined along with the judges’ points from the 24-Hour Fusion Challenge to determine the winner. At the end of the night, either Rashad and Emma, Normani and Val, or David and Lindsay will be holding the Mirror Ball Trophy high. Right now, Rashad Jennings is in the lead, with Normani Kordei a close second and David Ross third. Will it stay that way Tuesday?

We predict it will be Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater first, Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy second, and David Ross and Lindsay Arnold third – reversing order between Rashad and Normani from our original prediction based on Rashad’s blockbuster Freestyle routine. But it’s far from a lock.

Now it’s up to the fans: vote!

Finals Leaderboard:

Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater:
Redemption Style: Viennese Waltz, “Dark Times” by The Weeknd featuring Ed Sheeran
Freestyle: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points
TOTAL: 80 points

Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy
Redemption Style: Quickstep: 10-9-9-10 = 38 points
Freestyle: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points

David Ross and Lindsay Arnold:
Redemption Style: Viennese Waltz: 8-8-9-8 = 33 points
Freestyle: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points

Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the “Dancing with the Stars” broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at ABC.com and on Facebook is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and closing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

“Dancing With The Stars: Season 24: The Finale” airs on Tuesday, May 23, at 8:30 pm ET/PT.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She also covers the Sweet Science of boxing for Communities. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.

Copyright © 2017 by Falcon Valley Group





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