Eric McCandless / ABC

Dancing With The Stars Offers Freedom And Redemption

The remaining couples get to do a freestyle dance as well as a redo on any of their previous routines, as the final three compete to become the final one.

It's the finals! And Simone isn't there! But tonight is only one hour, and each couple will dance two routines. The first will be the redemption dance, where the couples get to redo a routine that gave them trouble the first time around. The second will be the freestyle. They will also have to dance again tomorrow night, but the judges usually score them pretty highly and the scores from those routines don't tend to impact the results much. So with that out of the way, here are your rankings:

David Ross and Lindsay: Viennese Waltz

David was as surprised as the rest of us that he didn't get eliminated last week, but now that he's in the finals, he vows to give it his all. When watching the recording of the first time he did this dance, he notices that his butt was really sticking out, the flaw that Carrie Anne warned him about. His posture is better this time around but it's not perfect, and given his competition, it needs to be. This dance is perfectly serviceable but I don't think it's good enough for the finals. The judges aren't sure if they saw much improvement technique-wise but they understand why people love to see David out there. Scores: 33/40.

David Ross and Lindsay: Freestyle

Lindsay thinks that the freestyle is all entertainment without as much focus on technique, so it should be perfect for David. They know they got here by pleasing the fans, so they're not going to change it up. Unsurprisingly, it has a baseball theme. It's…kind of lame. There's a little hip hop and a lot of baseball. The best part is when David gets to dance solo in the front of a pack of dancers. People who love David will love this, but if he wins, I'm going to be mad. The judges are like, "This was fun and it was a great way for you to go out" which is not really a compliment but sounds like a compliment. The judges are in whatever mode. Scores: 40/40.

Normani Kordei and Val: Freestyle

Val really wants to capture Normani's journey on the show and then Normani talks a lot about love and family and being a light for someone and I don't even know, y'all. She might have read a couple of self-help books or taken, like, half a self-esteem seminar. Normani dances as beautifully as always but there's a part in the middle of their waltz where two little kids come in, one who looks like tiny Normani and one who looks like tiny Val. And they start dancing? What is happening right now? The dancing was great. The theme or whatever was corny. The judges loved it, of course. Scores: 40/40.

Normani Kordei and Val: Quickstep

While they are trying to make their quickstep quicker in rehearsal, Normani rolls her ankle. They show it again in slow motion and it is hard to watch. And she's wearing heeled boots for this routine. Boy, did they speed things up. They are sprinting around the floor and Normani doesn't miss a beat. At first, I wasn't sure if I liked this more modern take on the quickstep but thinking about it, it's nice to see something that's not the typical '30s Hollywood glamour theme usually given to this dance. Julianne and Len felt there were tiny mistakes that they only saw because Normani was wearing a catsuit; Bruno and Carrie Anne thought it was perfection. Scores: 38/40.

Rashad Jennings and Emma: Viennese Waltz

Rashad talks about how he's never actually won anything -- playoff games, championships, nothing. And now that he's so close to the end, he really wants to win this, and he's willing to work as hard as he needs to for that to happen. I see huge improvement in Rashad with this routine. He's much more fluid and lyrical than he was even a few weeks ago. I think ballroom has always been difficult for him, but I really loved this. The judges love how hard Rashad is fighting and that he's still improving, even this late in the game. Scores: 40/40.

Rashad Jennings and Emma: Freestyle

Rashad wants to infuse some marching-band flavor into his routine, because hearing the marching band always fires him up. He even contributes some of the choreography. They start out with Rashad dancing boyband style with some other dudes to "Uptown Funk" and then it segues into a marching band theme where they do some quasi-step moves that I love. It reminds me of Drumline, which is a GREAT movie. There are a bunch of lifts and tricks in there, some of them not entirely successful, and then it concludes with a little more hip hop. It was definitely the most difficult of all the freestyles and the most unique. And the least corny. I loved it. The judges loved it. It wasn't perfect, but it was great. Scores: 40/40.

Readers liked this episode
What did you think?


Explore the Dancing With The Stars forum or add a comment below.