Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman might just win herself another kind of medal: the Mirror Ball trophy on "Dancing With the Stars." The Needham native, who tied in first place Monday night with NFL star Jacoby Jones after dancing a sensual rumba and a fierce African-jazz routine, will dance in the final next week with Jones, country singer Kellie Pickler, and teen Disney star Zendaya. The show's soap star wasn't so lucky during this ninth week of competition. Ingo Rademacher, who plays Jasper "Jax" Jacks on "General Hospital," came in last place with 51 points during this week's performance round and his fans couldn't save him with their votes. Zendaya was also "in jeopardy" this week, so we'll have to see who ends up on top in the final.
"This has been an amazing experience because I thought I'd be done after like two weeks," Rademacher said. After thanking his partner Kym Johnson, he also said he wants to see the remaining contestants battle it out because he thinks it's a really close competition.
Pickler, who was in jeopardy during last week's elimination show, came back this week with a sexy Argentine tango that earned her a perfect score before dancing a flamenco number. The judges were particularly impressed with her tango Monday night.
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba told Pickler it's absurd that she could obtain that level of dancing in 8 or 9 weeks. "It was perfection!," she said.
Meanwhile, Inaba told Jones Monday: "You are the number 1 entertainer of the season!"
Raisman was also a hit with the judges during the performance show.“The rumba is all about being woman and you were all woman out there,” Inaba said of her first dance.
And Zendaya wowed the panel with her second dance of the night, a hip-hop routine, which judge Bruno Tonioli dubbed "so cool."
So is it anyone's title at this point? We'll just have to wait and see.
The Wanted and Avril Lavigne both performed during Tuesday's elimination show. The top four contestants will compete in the final on Monday, May 20, at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Who do you think will win? Are you rooting for Raisman or another contestant? Share your thoughts here in the comments.
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ContributorsKatie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Sarah Rodman is a TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
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Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.