09:06 PM EDT 11/27/2014
Originally posted 11/29/2012 02:05PM
Dancing with the Stars finalists Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy's intense chemistry was buzzed-about all season long.
Now, following their third-place finish in the season 15 finale, they're in for a big adjustment – but not before some final friendly kisses.
Originally posted 11/28/2012 01:15PM
We have a winner!
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani won the mirror-ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars Monday night in the culmination of a challenging all-stars season.
"It's unbelievable," Rycroft told PEOPLE after the show. "I don't know why we kept underestimating ourselves. I don't know why we kept thinking, 'It's not us, it's not us.' And it was us."
Dovolani, who's never won in 14 previous seasons on the show, was elated on a night when his reasons for celebrating extended far beyond the DWTS ballroom.
Originally posted 11/27/2012 10:50PM
There's a new leading lady!
The first all-female finale of Dancing with the Stars featured all-stars Shawn Johnson, Kelly Monaco and Melissa Rycroft in a fierce battle Tuesday night for the mirror ball trophy.
After taking big risks in Monday night's performance show, the stars and their pro partners – Derek Hough, Val Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani – performed "instant dances."
With the competitors getting their dance-style instructions less than an hour before hitting the floor, the field was whittled down to two couples.
Originally posted 11/27/2012 10:15AM
That mirror-ball trophy is within reach!
Dancing's all-female top three performed two routines a piece on Monday night – and it's a tight race going into Tuesday's big finale.
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani were flawless and are in the lead with a perfect score of 60 points. They performed a sexy samba for their favorite dance and a high-flying contemporary routine for their super-size freestyle.
"Your technique is great but what is good to see is your confidence," judge Bruno Tonioli said after their first dance. "You've grown so much as a performer." After their contemporary number, fellow judge Len Goodman said he wished he had an 11-point paddle.
Originally posted 11/26/2012 09:35PM
It's raining 10s, hallelujah!
On the final Monday night of competition for the all-star season of Dancing with the Stars, the all-female top three – Melissa Rycroft, Shawn Johnson and Kelly Monaco – took big risks during two final routines with their partners.
Each couple performed their favorite dance of the season and "super-sized freestyle," which allowed the pros – Tony Dovolani, Derek Hough and Val Chmerkovskiy – to incorporate the music and choreography of their choice with sets, additional performers and costumes to create routines to wow the judges and the voters at home.
Here's how it all played our inside the ballroom on Monday night:
Originally posted 11/26/2012 06:00PM
Apolo Ohno is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 4 with Julianne Hough. Finally ousted last week, the ice-skating Olympian has been blogging for PEOPLE.com about competing with Karina Smirnoff in the all-star season.
I feel good. I did my absolute best on the show. I feel like we did some amazing dances. It was a blast, it was a struggle, it was hard. I overcame all the obstacles. The fan base that was there was incredibly powerful and strong.
On one side, it was a little bit bittersweet. I felt like we should have been in the finals. We definitely were good enough to be there. But it's out of our control. With the combination of the judges' scores and the audience votes, we just did not have enough votes to go onto the finals.
Originally posted 11/26/2012 07:30AM
Let's hear it for the girls!
For the first time, Dancing with the Stars will showcase an all-female finale, with Shawn Johnson, Melissa Rycroft and Kelly Monaco competing for the mirror-ball trophy on Monday to complete the all-star season.
"Unbelievable," says Rycroft, who finished third on season 8. "The three of us are standing up on that stage going: 'We beat all the boys!' How really does that happen?"
Originally posted 11/20/2012 08:30PM
They were so close!
After five couples performed mixed-up routines and a tribute to Michael Jackson on Dancing with the Stars the night before, two contestants were sent packing Tuesday night, just one week short of season 15's all-star finale. And that's got to hurt.
Originally posted 11/20/2012 06:10PM
Been there, done that? Actually, it's quite the opposite.
With the all-star season of Dancing with the Stars now in its home stretch, the five celebrities still standing tell PEOPLE they're older, wiser and more competitive than ever – and that returning to the ballroom has been more exciting and rewarding than their first time on the show.
"You can't even compare them," says Apolo Ohno. "Karina [Smirnoff] has shown me so much about dancing on a different level now, because I think can accept it now. I'm able to express that stuff."
Originally posted 11/19/2012 11:05PM
It's the semi-finals!
The remaining five couples on Dancing with the Stars faced two rounds of competition on Monday. First, the pairs performed mixed-up routines, blending uncommon styles with unusual themes. Then, they celebrated the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's hit album Bad with more traditional ballroom numbers.
Keep reading for all the details and scores ...
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