By People Staff
Updated November 26, 2007 12:00 AM
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Credit: Byron Purvis/AdMedia; CRAIG SJODIN/ABC

As the clock ticks down to the last dance-off on the Dancing with the Stars finale, Maksim Chmerkovskiy is stepping on the toes of competitor Marie Osmond, saying she may not be on par with the other remaining competitors in tonight’s high-stepping finale.

“Frankly, I think there were a lot of other better than Marie,” Chmerkovskiy tells Extra, suggesting that the 48-year-old singer was carried into the finale due to public sympathy over the loss of her father and her 16-year-old son’s recent entry into rehab.

“I know firsthand there are a lot of celebrities on the show that went through similar situations family issues this season and decided not to make it public,” Chmerkovskiy said. Meanwhile, Osmond tells Extra her son Michael, who entered a rehabilitation facility in early November for an undisclosed treatment, will be in the audience for the finale, along with his seven siblings. “All my children will be there,” she confirmed.

With the competition in a possible three-way dead heat between Helio Castroneves and partner Julianne Hough and Osmond and her partner Jonathan Roberts, Chmerkovskiy says his partner Mel B’s sex appeal will also play a role in tonight’s two-part finale. “She’s going to be showing a lot of skin,” he revealed. “The most skin the show has ever seen.”

So tell us: Do you agree with Maksim’s critique of Marie? –Scott Huver

Photo: Byron Purvis/AdMedia; CRAIG SJODIN/ABC