Adam Taylor/ABC (3)
Monica Rizzo and Mike Fleeman
May 23, 2011 09:55 PM

Dancing with the Stars is coming down to the wire with the first round of final performances, and Carrie Ann Inaba summed it up best with three words: “Hot, hot, hot.”

Chelse Kane, Kirstie Alley and Hines Ward and their pro partners each did two routines Monday night before their final one on Tuesday night to determine a champion. Find out how they fared in the stretch.

POLL: Dancing: Rate the Couples’ Finale Routines

Kane and Mark Ballas set the tone, opening with a samba that Inaba showered with the triple-“hot” kudo. Bruno Tonioli called Kane an “ultra-sexy bombshell” and the dance got a near-perfect 29.

Their freestyle routine didn’t disappoint, either. “Electrifying!” Tonioli exclaimed about the hip-hop and Latin-infused routine that was a perfect 30, giving the pair 59 points.

Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy countered with a decidedly slower-paced samba that Tonioli called “less full-on.” They received 27.

Their freestyle routine started out slow and sensual before reaching a quick-paced routine full of lifts of a slim-downed Alley in a black leotard. Inaba called Alley “the new poster child for life as it should be lived at 60” and Len Goodman cheered the risk-taking. They got another 27, for a total of 54.

That left Hines Ward and the recently injured Kym Johnson to hit the floor with a quickstep that impressed Inaba as “so much fun,” but had Goodman wanting more. The duo scored a 29.

But it was their halftime show-inspired freestyle, with football star Ward as the leader of the band, that brought the house down. “You guys are just amazing,” said Inaba, and the panel agreed, awarding them a perfect 30, for a 59-point total.

They ended the night tied with Kane and Ballas, while Alley and Chmerkovskiy were within striking distance for the mirror ball trophy.

As Goodman said, “This competition is still anyone’s to win.”

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