Are You Ready for Dancing’s Two-Part Season Finale?

11/26/2007 at 12:00 AM EST

Are You Ready for Dancing’s Two-Part Season Finale?
Photo: ABC

The dances have been rehearsed. The ballroom floor has been buffed. On Monday night three couples will hoof it out one last time to prove who's worthy of taking home the Dancing with the Stars season five mirror ball trophy.

Spice Girl Mel B. and Maksim Chermkovskiy, Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough, and Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts have survived nine weeks of the grueling competition. On Monday each couple will perform two dances–a freestyle routine and a ballroom dance selected by the judges.

On Tuesday night, all will return to the ballroom where one couple will be eliminated on the live two-hour results show. The remaining two couples will then perform a final dance of their choice and the judges' scores combined with Monday night's fan vote will determine the season five winner. PEOPLE checked in with two-time Dancing champ Cheryl Burke to see what the judges will be looking for, who's looking strong, and what it's going to take to win.

What will the judges look for?Each couple will repeat one dance they did earlier in the season and the judges will definitely need to see an improvement in technique and entertainment value.

Talk about Monday's three contenders, their strengths and weaknesses.Marie is full of enthusiasm. She has so many fans because she connects with everybody–working women, moms. She brings great entertainment value but she will need to show improvement with her technique if she's going to make it. Helio has so much charisma. He reminds me of Emmitt (Smith, season three's winner). He's great with the dances where he can show his personality. And Mel B. has so much passion when she dances. Her technique is really strong. She's got a lot going on with the Spice Girls and her weakness is not having rehearsed enough.

Who should win this season?Mel B. is the best dancer on the show. When she and Maks dance they have such incredible chemistry. It's hot and steamy and that's what ballroom is all about.

So who will win?Anybody. Honestly, the make or break on Monday night will be the freestyle round. If you have a good freestyle routine that brings the audience to their feet and pleases the judges, has a lot of tricks and lifts, you can throw everything else away. That's what the judges will look at and that's what the fans will vote on. –Monica Rizzo

Photo: ABC

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