Carrie Ann Inaba calls 'DWTS' finale 'two completely different' competitions

"Dancing With The Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba said the finalists were split in two distinct groups.

By Gabrielle Levy
Carrie Ann Inaba. UPI/Danny Moloshok
Carrie Ann Inaba. UPI/Danny Moloshok | License Photo

Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Ahead of Monday night's opening of Dancing With the Stars' two-part finale, judge Carrie Ann Inaba marveled at how the competition's final four dancers had arrived at the season's end.

The top four dancers, Amber Riley, Jack Osbourne, Bill Engvall and Corbin Bleu, split neatly into two categories: the two who came in with plenty of dance experience, and the two who came in as novices and transformed into competitors.


"I think we have two completely different types of competitors," Inaba said, before Monday night's episode, which saw Bill Engvall get the boot.

"We have Corbin and Amber, who are in one class," she said, referencing their years of experience dancing on stage and screen. "And then you have Jack and Bill, who are totally of a different class."

"I think it's really interesting the way the fans have voted," she said. "I think people are really a fan of the whole idea of somebody who doesn't know how to dance really making the transformation, which is what Jack and Bill fall into."

Inaba said the dichotomy revealed in the final four competitors was exactly what the show was meant to do.


"I think we've gone back to what the heart of the show is, which makes me really proud of our viewers," Inaba said. "They remember what the show was about when we first started, which was taking people who didn't know dancing and transforming them into dancers."

"I think that it's really nice to see people voting that way," she said "People like watching people that they can relate to [and] they're rewarding somebody who's just going for it, gung ho, not afraid, and sometimes making a fool out of himself. But he's having a great time and he's doing it the way it should be done, which is all in good spirits and all in good fun."

On Tuesday night's finale, Osbourne, Riley and Bleu will compete for the mirrorball trophy, dancing one final time before the Season 17 champion is crowned.

Fans are voting based on Monday's performances: Bleu scored 62 points on the night, Osbourne netted 57 points and Riley earned an impressive 64 points.

[TV Guide]

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