November 26 glittered like a Mirrorball Trophy for Dancing with the Stars All Stars finalist Melissa Rycroft, who enters tonight's final results show leading competitors Shawn Johnson and Kelly Monaco in the quest for the big win. But will Melissa and second-time pro partner Tony Dovolani overcome their underdog status and claim their very first victory?
For their round one offering, Melissa and Tony opted to recreate their week 3 Samba to the super hit "Conga," which originally netted them a trio of 9s from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. During rehearsals, Melissa said that although she really hoped to win, her ultimate plan was to "leave it out there" in the ballroom and challenge herself. Tony's goal was to show everyone how far they'd come since their initial stint as partners back in season eight.
Their Samba, which featured the return of Tony's shimmering cotton candy pink shirt, went off without a hitch. The routine once again showed off Melissa's fabulous extensions and flexibility. It was certainly a safe choice designed to maximize the point reward from the judges, but it was well done nonetheless.
The DWTS judges were duly impressed. Bruno called her a "bombshell" and praised her increase in confidence. Carrie Ann remarked over Melissa's impressive abs, and said she was "fabulous." Len called her the "carnival queen" and praised her solid style and technique.
Tony was absolutely giddy when he learned that he and Melissa had been rewarded with a perfect 30. But will their perfect overall mark last night parlay itself into a Mirrorball win tonight? It could happen, but they're up against extraordinarily stiff competition from both Kelly and Shawn. The Olympic gymnast is essentially one of America's sweethearts, while Kelly's soap opera fan base could accurately be termed a juggernaut. Melissa has an uphill climb ahead of her, but it could happen.
The two-hour Dancing with the Stars All Stars 2012 finale airs tonight on ABC from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT.