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Monday
Nov252013

"Dancing with the Stars" Kicks Off Two-Part Season Finale Monday

ABC(LOS ANGELES) -- This week, Dancing with the Stars will present its Mirror Ball trophy to a new champion. 

The first half of the two-part, season-17 finale airs Monday night on ABC, with the four remaining couples returning to the ballroom.

Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff, Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke, Bill Engvall and Emma Slater, and Amber Riley and Derek Hough will dance three times.  Each team will have to perform a "judges pick," or a reprise of a routine from earlier in the season; a samba relay, in which each couple dances to a different section of the same song; and a supersized freestyle.  One couple will be eliminated at the end of the night.

Engvall is out to prove his critics wrong, even if he's battling an injured groin.

He jokes, "I hope to God somebody puts some money on us."

The comedian's partner, Slater, adds, "I would love to meet those people that were like, 'Oh, that guy, that redneck, he's never going to make it past the first elimination.'  And now he's a finalist!"   

Bleu's partner, Smirnoff, vows to make their freestyle routine a spectacular one.  She tells ABC News Radio, "I'm gonna be on pointe, the ballet shoes, and I'm going to stand on his head as I do arabesque."

Osbourne is just hoping to stay upright after nearly falling down the stairs during a previous dance: "We're going to keep it, you know, stay in my lane.  If that makes any sense.  I won't be doing anything too wild, but I'm retiring my sliding stairs phase thing."

As for Riley, she's putting her trust in her partner, Hough.  In regards to their freestyle dance, she says, "He's creative.  He'll figure it out."

Reigning Dancing with the Stars champ Kellie Pickler and '90s group TLC will be the musical guests on Monday's show, which airs on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

The three couples who advance will also have to compete on Tuesday's two-hour finale as part of a "fusion challenge," in which couples will perform fused dance styles to songs selected by their opponents.  Lady Antebellum and Enrique Iglesias will be on hand to perform before the new champion is named.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio