Joanna has no more pressure to worry about. And it's a good thing we learned all about her upbringing on Monday night, so last night's elimination could be even more heartfelt and goosebump-inducing, as she and Derek did their last Viennese waltz across the dance floor at the show's end. But don't worry, Joanna, you can follow in the footsteps of last season's finalist Melissa Rycroft (who?) and come back again for a cameo in a results show routine next year! I wonder who thought, Hey, let's have the Bachelor lady pop out of nowhere during a routine to the Bee Gees singing "You Should Be Dancing."
And now there are the final three. How will this play out?
Donny Osmond: He's an energetic and perpetually professional showman, but his buoyancy can be grating when it becomes self-flagellating. Primary advantage: a favorite among the wholesome primary audience demographic, namely your mom and grandmom. And guess what? They must vote, because he has been saved readily every week, never even landing in the bottom two.
Kelly Osbourne: An emotional and inspiring blossoming flower, they love talking about what a lady the young Osbourne has become, and what Middle American doesn't enjoy seeing a loudmouth, rock and roll, drug addicted teenager become a socially acceptable feminine woman? But Kelly's talent is that her genuine elation about uncovering passion and talent for dancing transcends the simple makeover story, so those of us who loved her on The Osbournes love her as much now, for the same reasons.
Mya: The leaderboard shoe-in, the one to beat. She has never been near the bottom two, so audiences must also favor the R&B star and her pristine routines. Her biggest obstacle to overcome is Len, who seems to alternate between skewering her routines for being too dramatic and giving a low score, or praising her form but making creepy remarks about her "tutti fruity booty." I suppose in the case of the latter, if the judge is handing out ten's, perhaps tolerating such scrutiny is the price to bring home the disco ball trophy.
Come back on Monday for our exclusive interview with Mya.
The Dancing With the Stars finale airs on ABC on Monday, November 23. Check local listings for time and channel and head to ABC.com for more info on the show and the finalists.
-- A. RAYMOND JOHNSON
Previously > DWTS: The Last Lap Around the Track