Mark Ballas injured! Preview: Dancing With The Stars: Season 18 Finals

Amber Riley won the Mirror Ball Trophy last season with Derek Hough. Who will win Season 18 this week? Photo: Adam Taylor, ABC
Amber Riley won the Mirror Ball Trophy last season with Derek Hough. Who will win Season 18 this week? Photo: Adam Taylor, ABC

UPDATE, May 19, 7 p.m.: Mark Ballas injured his shoulder during dress rehearsals on Sunday with Candace Cameron Bure while practicing a lift. He was taken to a hospital for examination. Earlier this afternoon, his mother Shirley Ballas posted a photo of her son with his arm in a sling, expressing her sympathy. It seems unlikely he will be able to compete tonight. The most likely scenario is that another professional will take his place. Nothing has been announced from show producers. The substitute could be Tony Dovoloni, who danced with Cameron during the switch-up week.

READ ALSO: Dancing With The Stars finals filled with drama on Monday night; Mark Ballas dances injured

SAN DIEGO, May 18, 2014 – It is an unexpected Final Four in Season 18 of “Dancing With The Stars.” The depature of Olympic gold medalist Charlie White left two underdogs alive, James Maslow and Candace Cameron Bure.

Everyone expected White and his ice dancing partner Meryl Davis to make it to the final week, but White didn’t have the fan votes and the consistent scores to get there. The fourth finalist, Paralympic snowboard bronze medalist Amy Purdy is a bit of a surprise, but she has been solid and getting better every week. Amy and partner Derek Hough keep pulling out all the stops with creative choreography and multiple prothetic feet to match the ballroom style. They’re not afraid to try anything to see if it works.

READ ALSO: LIVE CHAT: Dancing With The Stars: Season 18 Finals, 8 p.m. ET

This spirit is what will win the Mirror Ball Trophy. No one should play it safe. The judges and the longtime fans have seen a lot of ballroom dancing over the years. Excellence in execution is a must, but innovations in choreography and movement are what make an impression and give a routine that “it” factor that scores points, wins votes, and makes you the winner.

Monday night the final four will dance two routines. The first is a repeat of the “Switch Up” dance performed this season with each star dancing the same routine with their regular partner.

Fans will see Meryl Davis bring back her Argentine Tango from the switch-up week, this time with her regular partner Maks Chmerkovskiy. Photo: Adam Taylor, ABC
Fans will see Meryl Davis bring back her Argentine Tango from the switch-up week, this time with her regular partner Maks Chmerkovskiy. Photo: Adam Taylor, ABC

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd will dance the Tango; James originally danced with Cheryl Burke. Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy bring back their Argentine Tango which Meryl originally performed with Val Chmerkovskiy. Amy Purdy and Derek Hough dance the Salsa Amy danced first with Mark Ballas; and Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas dance the Quickstep she performed the first time with Tony Dovoloni.

The couples will then perform their freestyles. Anything goes. Since DWTS went to the “supersized” freestyle era, the couples can use additional dancers, props, and anything else that comes to mind.

One couple will be eliminated at the end of Monday’s show, and the remaining three will put together a 24-hour routine for Tuesday night. The Mirror Ball Trophy will be presented on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Surprise semifinal elimination on ‘Dancing With The Stars’

For a real treat before the show on Monday, you can watch all 17 winning freestyles thanks to the blog Videos of the freestyles of each Mirror Ball Trophy champion are posted in three parts: Seasons 1-6, Seasons 7-13, and Seasons 14-17. There has been a big change in approach over the years, but the sense of fun and excitement has always come through. Take a look and let us know which one is your all-time favorite in the comments section. Many thanks to the always insightful, creative and exceptional team at Pure DWTS for this dance down memory lane.

Communities Digital News will host its final Live Chats of the season on Monday and Tuesday nights. Be sure to take your seat in the virtual ballroom with us to enjoy and comment on all the performances.

Finals Night One Lineup

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: Tango / Freestyle

Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Argentine Tango / Freestyle

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: Quickstep / Freestyle

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: Salsa / Freestyle

“Dancing With the Stars” returns with night one of The Finals week on Monday, May 19, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time on the ABC Television Network.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities.

Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google+

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  • OSUbuckeye

    Hear you have a problem with FB voting. Me & 7 others voted for Charlie for 9 weeks & get the message that we have no voting history….how far does this problem go
    And consistent judges scoring –
    Glad that Candace fits all that criteria – Why don’t U just stop all the malarkey & be honest U pick & choose & stop wasting our time & phone minutes to play your game

  • Rie

    I’m disappointed in the final results of the last 3 couples. I know everyone is amazed at amy and how well she has done. But to give her 3 10,s for Dancing was absurd she did not dance Derek did all the dancing and he just twirled her around. Yes we all know she is athletic or she wouldn’t have won the Bronze medal. But this is a dance contest if you go back and actually watch how much dancing she does is actually limited. Derek moves her around on chairs swinging her around his body and tonight Len was right what was with the rope this isn’t a acrobat or cirque de solei contest its called dancing. Derek is a great dancer & choreographer and he knows how to make his partner look good with what abilities they have. But her dancing has been to a minimum. You can’t vote her in just because she has a handicap. What she has accomplished is unbelievable. But still it should be judged on Dancing.

    • shwb

      In my honest opinion Amy is the best dancer. She is always on beat and has gracefulness far exceeding her competitors. Charlie was good, but not the best and boring. Meryl is good but the bedroom scenes are getting old. I’m really rooting for Amy because I believe she is the best dancer out there. The rope was an athletic feat like any lift or whatever. Dance is body movement to music. I wasn’t a fan of the rope part, but the rest of the chor. and dancing Amy did was truly spectacular. So I guess people have differing views than you. Amy is a way better dancer than Charlie in my opinion. He was sometimes off a bit and thought his smile would take the cake. I liked him don’t get me wrong, just not thinking he should win with the other challengers. Candice has gotten better but she should have been out way before now. Nene should have gone loooooong time before she did, Drew too. I was rooting for a Amy, Charlie, Meryl and Cody finish. I thought those four brought the most to the dance floor as far as good watching. James is good, just not my favorite.

  • John Smith

    Without centralized coercive power, it is impossible to force people to chase illusions such as “fair” income distribution, “man-made climate change”, and “social justice”.