The three celebrity contenders left remaining on "Dancing With the Stars" stepped up their game on Monday night's final round, leaving the competition without a clear frontrunner going into the public vote.
Gilles Marini and professional partner Cheryl Burke came out strong in the first round, netting a perfect score of 30 as they tackled the paso doble face off – a dance routine featuring all three final couples.
"Gilles, for you I said it was hectic last time. This time it wasn't hectic. This time it was full-on. It had the intensity, great job," judge Len Goodman said.
But the duo's second dance of the night — a freestyle — featured a bit too much of pro Cheryl for judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
"I wanted a little bit more dancing from you," Bruno said as the pair lost two points for a second round total of 28. "The performance was great. I'm not saying it wasn't good, it was fantastic. But because What I've seen before I wanted a little bit more."
And it was gymnast Shawn Johnson and her partner, Mark Ballas, who after netting a 28 in paso doble face off, stepped up to tie Gilles and Cheryl during round two.
Their number, a hip-hop influenced routine full of flips, and with masks more akin to MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew," won them the judges praise and a perfect score, making their total score for the evening equal to Gilles and Cheryl's.
"You are going for gold. This truly was an explosive performance, bursting with creativity," Bruno said.
As for Melissa Rycroft, a fan favorite, and her partner, Tony Dovolani, they fell to third over the evening.
Their paso doble netted 29 out of 30, and their freestyle found them receiving just 27 points.
"Something about the choreography felt a bit disjointed," Len said of their flip-heavy routine. "It went from lift to lift and I wanted to see you go from movement to movement. Your such an amazing dancer. Still, great job."
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