Danica McKellar was an immediate early favorite to win "Dancing With the Stars."
But a serious rib cage injury limited her movement starting last week and her scores suffered. Unfortunately, the "Wonder Years" star had to settle for sixth place as a result.
Still, she managed a bracing final solo dance, a tango that brought in a 38 out of 40 to a very dark Lorde version of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."
"That was incredibly difficult challenging choreography with your broken rib," Carrie Ann Inaba said. "Tonight, it like seeing the Black Swan recreate the most beautiful ballet in the world."
Even the toughest judge Len Goodman called it "terrific."
Over her eight weeks, the long-time "Dancing With the Stars" fan brought joy and surprisingly strong skills to the equation.
Her closest TV rival, "Full House" star Candace Cameron Bure outlasted her despite being the only remaining dancer who has yet to get a "10" from judges in a solo dance. (McKellar's average judge's score was 26.3 from the main three judges vs. 25.1 for Bure.) Her embrace of faith and family hasn't hurt her in the vote department. And having Mark Ballas as her dance partner certainly doesn't hurt. Her gleeful, sitcom-themed foxtrot generated straight 9's from the judges.
Outside of Bure, any of the other four remaining celebrities could win this.
Two received perfect solo scores: Charlie White, the ice-dancing winner, and Amy Purdy, the paralympic snowboarder. The judges have been especially tough on White over the weeks so he felt deeply gratified for this one. His ice-dancing champ partner Meryl Davis has been usually getting the top scores and has the highest average judges' score but received a rare 8 from guest judge Abby Lee Miller of "Dance Moms" fame. The problem: it felt more like a dramatic contemporary dance than a rumba. Miller had issues with her feet at points and penalized her justly. "I don't care for anything she has to say," said Davis' dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Purdy had back spasms last week but appeared strong last night with her Argentine Tango, finely choreographed by Derek Hough. Miller gave Hough props for his work. "Amazing Amy. That was totally spellbinding. I feel like I'm in a trance," said Bruno Tonioli. "Perfection." Inaba said she felt like she stopped breathing a few times.
Big Time Rush singer James Maslow received varying scores for his flowing Viennese Waltz. Carrie Ann Inaba gave him an 8, penalizing him for his posture and legs, while Miller rewarded a 10.
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