The final three pairs of dancers freestyled and fancy-footed their way toward the glittery mirror ball trophy on "Dancing With the Stars" Monday night.
While the end of the competition left Spice Girl Melanie Brown at the top with 55 points, race car driver Helio Castroneves trailed Brown by only one point, with a total score of 54 out of 60.
Entertainer Marie Osmond was in third place with 46 points, but still has a chance to take the title after fans' votes are counted.
Tonight the lowest scoring couple will be revealed, and then the final two pairs will dance for one more set of judges' scores. Those scores will be combined with the audience's votes to determine the winner.
Last night, each couple performed two dances: a judges' choice and a freestyle dance where all the rules wee thrown out.
The freestyle allowed for varying types of lifts and flips, which caused some controversy earlier in the season.
The sequin-clad performers made use of their new freedom. The charismatic Castroneves wowed the audience and judges with his high-octane jive. He stole the show with an impressive cartwheel creation when he flipped as his partner Julianne Hough clung tightly to him.
"Lifts are extremely hard, especially for a man who has never danced before to actually lift up the woman," two-time "Dancing With the Stars" champion Cheryl Burke said on "Good Morning America" today. "Thank God Julianne's so small and she's got a lot of trust in him. But lifts are very difficult, very difficult."
The crowd also was enthused by the performance of Brown, who Burke said was the best dancer.
"I still think -- as a dancer's perspective -- I think the best technical dancer and the best dancer is still Mel B," she said. "She came out with a cha cha last night. I mean, her technique was flawless. She moved from foot to foot and was really amazing."
But Osmond's choice left some perplexed. The doll maker-inspired trot gave the judges puzzled faces.
"It's like Baby Jane and the bride of Chucky," said judge Bruno Tonioli. "How can I criticize it? It's not a dance."
But Osmond, who some consider the weakest dancer of the remaining contestants, fought back against the judges' criticisms, which she said were way too harsh.
"This is 'Dancing with the Stars,' not dancing with the pros," she said.
Burke said she believed the finale didn't live up to expectations.
"The judges were tough, but I still think that last night's finale didn't quite make it," she said. "I think the freestyles were great, but it could have been better. I thought for sure Helio and Julianne's freestyle was the best of the night. I think what's important in freestyle is to stick to a story and make people relate to that."
Fan favorite Osmond still could pull off a win in a season that has been filled with surprises like when Cheetah girl Sabrina Bryan was booted early in the competition.
The season began with a dozen dancers, including model-actress Josie Maran, who was the first to be eliminated. Other nixed contestants were actresses Jennie Garth and Jane Seymour, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, entertainer Wayne Newton, boxer Floyd Mayweather, actor Cameron Mathison and model Albert Reed.