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Dancing with the Stars recap: Do the Freestyle!

Season 17 finals: Jack, Amber, Bill, and Corbin dance for your votes; one couple’s eliminated before Tuesday’s jewel-studded finale

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DWTS Recap

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

I’ve got it straight from the gem-quarry source that there will be over 160 costume changes throughout this two-night finale spectacular. And that low-ballin’ figure didn’t even factor in Bill Engvall whipping his pesky shirt off. It couldn’t have! Season 17’s finale week is guns-blazingly out of control, liiiiiiiiiiive!

The funny man’s mastery of one of the most important ballroom standards — partial nudity — came just in time for his not-so-sad elimination at the end of Monday’s performance finale. Everyone knew it was Bill Engvall and his new best friend/second daughter Emma Slater‘s time to go. That leaves Amber Riley and Derek Hough, Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff, and Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke to dance for the COVETED MIRRORBALL TROPHY Tuesday night.

The final four danced three times — a Judges’ Choice, a samba relay, and the freestyle. Usually the freestyles are hit or miss, but all four couples stepped it up tonight. The samba relay, hilariously set to TLC’s “No Scrubs” (hey, they were in town and still dressed for the American Music Awards), was pretty predictable: Corbin won it and earned 5 extra points, then Amber (4), then Jack (3), then Bill (2). Highlights included Corbin executing a backbend without his arms touching the floor (?!), Jack wearing studded suspenders during rehearsal and knowing TLC lyrics well enough to explain to Brooke exactly what a scrub was, and a Bill Engvall-Derek Hough “transition” interaction that was truly a treasure.

Speaking of treasures: Brooke’s ocean-hued textured gown. Good God, Burke-Charvet! She looked amazing in that thing. She really doesn’t need to say anything to make a statement sometimes. And usually she doesn’t!

Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhhh-ber!

Amber Riley and Derek Hough: 30/30 Charleston + 4 samba relay + 30/30 freestyle = 64 total Amber and Derek’s first-round Charleston got a boost of insight from Carrie Ann, a vision in asymmetrical hair and leather. “The smallest thing could show a difference between you guys and the Jacks and the Bills,” she said. “We need to see growth from you.” (It’s interesting that she doesn’t even mention Corbin, who is both in a class of his own dance-wise and also hasn’t really shown growth because maybe there’s no room to grow?) Carrie Ann helped Amber make tiny changes that really mattered.

This whole judges’ choice round was a bit of a snoozefest, right? “Of the four couples we’ve seen, this is the most improved by far,” raved Len, because why not? After all, Amber and Derek were the last to dance, seemingly for like the billionth time.

“There is a power surge across the country!” yelled Bruno. Does Bruno not want us to see the freestyles?!

NEXT: A Derek Hough Light Bulb Moment in action