LOS ANGELES (AP) — With one dance remaining, two “Dancing With the Stars” finalists are tied for the judges’ top spot.
Chelsea Kane and Hines Ward each scored 59 points out of 60 for their two dances on Monday’s episode. Fellow finalist Kirstie Alley finished with 54 points.
Each will perform one final dance on Tuesday, when a new “Dancing” champ will be crowned.
“I may not have a Super Bowl ring or an Emmy, but I’m gunning for that mirrorball trophy,” said Kane, a Disney Channel star. She’s competing against Ward, who was named most valuable player at the Super Bowl in 2006, and Emmy-winning actress Alley for the show’s coveted disco-ball prize.
Kane and Ward each earned a perfect score of 30 for their freestyle dances. Judge Bruno Tonioli said Kane’s routine was “pushing the limit and advancing dance.” He called Ward’s halftime-themed dance “a crowd-pleasing event.”
The two top competitors each collected 29 points for their judges’ choice dances: Samba for her and quickstep for him. She was called an “ultra-sexy bombshell,” and he was praised as an entertainer who connects with his audience.
Ward says he’s already cleared a space on his shelf for the mirrorball trophy, “right by my Super Bowl trophy.”
Alley earned 27 points for each of her routines: A samba and a freestyle that she performed in a black bodysuit that revealed her leaner figure.
“That dance embodies what I think you have become,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, “which is the new poster child for life as it should be lived at 60 years old.”
Alley said winning the show’s big prize “would be like winning an Oscar, because it’s something I haven’t won before, it’s something I’ve always really wanted, and I don’t know, it’s a different category.”
Fans can vote for their favorites online until 11 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.