May 21, 2007 01:30 PM

Dancing with the Stars’ season four finale is upon us and it’s literally a neck-and-neck two-step, fox trot and cha-cha to the coveted disco ball trophy.

Two-time Dancing winner Cheryl Burke knows what it takes to go all the way. Though she is disappointed not to be in the running for this season’s finale, she says she can’t wait to see what happens when Joey Fatone, Laila Ali and Apolo Anton Ohno hit the floor on Monday night.

“This is going to be a kickin’ finale!” Burke says. “It’s really anybody’s to win.”

But, says Burke, there is no room for error. “The freestyle dance could make or break it,” she tells PEOPLE. “They need to bring their A-game. They need to put in all the lifts, all the tricks. It’s got to be pure entertainment.”

Here’s Burke’s contestant-by-contestant analysis:


STRENGTH: He’s a pure entertainer. No matter if he’s insecure, in pain, whatever, you’ll never see it on his face. He goes out there with a smile and even if he messes up he covers it up well.
WEAKNESS: His posture, especially when it comes to ballroom – and his demeanor. A serious dance is harder for him than a fun dance. He needs to not be funny serious but more passionate serious.
THE EDGE: His energy. That boy never runs out of stamina! Backstage he’ll huff and puff but out on the dance floor, you’ll never see him looking tired.


STRENGTH: His dedication. Every step is spot on. He’s got amazing footwork. He’s lightning fast. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him miss a step.
WEAKNESS: He could be more expressive in his face. It doesn’t come from putting on a smile, it comes from within. He needs to show that he’s having the time of his life.
THE EDGE: His mentality. On show day he’s so focused. You can see it backstage, it’s Apolo and Julianne [Hough] on the dance floor and that’s it. He doesn’t let anything distract him.


STRENGTH: She’s a lot like Emmitt [Smith, who was last season’s winner.] She just knows what it takes. She puts her game face on and even if Maks [Chmerkovskiy, her professional partner] is mean to her during rehearsal she doesn’t let it distract her. She sells it and she has had the right mindset from day one.
WEAKNESS: Sometimes her arms can be too loose. She has trouble connecting her arms to her body to her feet, and making sure everything moves in coordination.
THE EDGE: She’s the only woman and she’s a fighter! She’s confident and a lot of women and men can relate to her. You see no sign of insecurity on the floor. She has a likable confidence and you have to admire her for never being a dancer.

Dancing with the Stars final competition show airs on ABC Monday, May 21 from 8-9 p.m. EST. The live results show airs Tuesday, May 22, from 9-11 p.m. EST.

You May Like