Are you ready for the royal rumba?
The two-night Dancing with the Stars finale begins Monday on ABC (8 ET/PT). Among 13 contestants, only four — Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, country singer/actress Jana Kramer, race car driver James Hinchcliffe, and retired NFL wide receiver Calvin Johnson Jr. — can still fantasize about where they’ll put that coveted mirror ball trophy. Here’s a look at each of their unique journeys to the finals.
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy
Fresh from winning gold and silver in the Rio Summer Olympics, “Human Emoji” Hernandez partnered with Chmerkovskiy, who won the competition with Rumer Willis in May 2015.
With Laurie’s outstanding athletic ability, the twosome was strong out of the gate, tying James for first place with 31 points on the premiere.
The contestant judge Julianne Hough dubbed “Disney’s Beyoncé” during TV Night (week 2) has been on the higher end of the leader board for the majority of the season, and received the first perfect score on Cirque du Soleil Night in Week 4.
Since Halloween Night, when the pair used Pure Imagination for their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired Viennese waltz, they have received perfect scores on their dances, including the emotional foxtrot Laurie performed shortly after her grandmother died.
Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko
DWTS has been a rock for the Academy of Country Music Award-winning artist. News of her separation from her husband, former NFL tight end Mike Caussin, broke in August, shortly before the start of the competition. The public split proved hard to overcome for the contestant.
Jana and Gleb, who suffered injuries this season and who might need a substitute after she posted on Instagram that he had the flu over the weekend, began to hit their stride during Most Memorable Year Night (week 5) and earned their first perfect score on Latin Night (week 6) for their hot Argentine tango. Jana also performed a flawless waltz inspired by Waitress for Showstoppers Night (week 9).