'Dancing With the Stars': Bill Engvall Booted on First Night of Finals

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After defying the odds, comedian Bill Engvall endured disappointment tonight when he was eliminated from "Dancing With the Stars" on the first night of a two-night finale.

"This has been a lifetime experience. I will never forget this," he said. "To all the fans who voted this long, thank you."

He also thanked his pro partner, Emma Slater, his wife, Gail, and the judges.

True to character, he also had an amusing take on his elimination: "Well, it just goes to prove to me that there is God, 'cause I don't think I could make one more dance."

Each of the four remaining contestants tonight had to perform three rounds of dance - a judges' pick routine, where the judges asks the performers to reprise an earlier style of dance and improve upon the performance - as well as samba relay and a freestyle. The freestyle, which allows the performers to break certain technical rules and mix styles of dance, has traditionally been a way for flagging contestants to pick up extra points.

Elimination is based on combined judges' and viewer votes. Typically, audience votes from the prior week are combined with the judges' scores from the live performance, and the star with the lowest overall total is sent home.

Amber Riley, Jack Osbourne and Corbin Bleu remain in the competition, and one of them will earn the mirror ball trophy after one final dance on Tuesday night.

With a few exceptions, Riley and Bleu have been at or near the top of the leaderboard throughout the competition, while Osbourne - who has multiple sclerosis - started out with lower scores but has shown dramatic improvement.

Tonight's episode was the 11 th in the ABC dance competition. Kellie Pickler and TLC performed live.

The Routines

Judges' Picks

Bill Engvall: The judges asked Engvall to reprise the Viennese waltz, and they were generally pleased with his effort although they continued to fault him on problems in timing, musicality and frame. "There was some good improvement. Some of it stayed the same but I'm so happy you're here. Well done," head judge Len Goodman said. Bruno Tonioli praised Engvall's honest and sincere performances. Added Carrie Ann Inaba: "I honestly never thought I would see you here but the people have spoken and I think it's nice to hear their message … ." Each judge gave Engvall 8 points, for 24 points for the routine.

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Corbin Bleu: Judges asked the actor to repeat his quickstep, but they weren't enthusiastic about the performance. While Goodman said he saw some improvement over Bleu's first quickstep, he faulted the way Bleu held his left arm. Tonioli said Bleu went out of sync with his pro partner, but acknowledged that the rapid pace of the routine would have made it difficult to keep sync throughout, and Inaba said she was disappointed because she saw no improvement over the first quickstep Bleu did. "Come on! Get your mojo back. This is the final, Corbin!" she said. Each judge gave Bleu a 9, for 27 points for the routine.

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Jack Osbourne: The TV personality's country-inspired jive also failed to wow the judges, who felt his timing was off. Osbourne acknowledged that he was nervous, and Tonioli encouraged him to get himself together and praised him for his tremendous improvement over the season. Goodman agreed that Osbourne "lost it early on" in the routine and took a while to catch up, but told him he could redeem himself in his next two routines. Inaba added: "I thought it was a 10 the first time. Unfortunately, I didn't think it was a 10 this time." Each judge gave Osbourne 8s, for 24 points for the routine.

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Amber Riley: Riley's first try at the Charleston was faulted for being out of sync, but judges were thrilled with her second attempt tonight. In fact, Goodman rated the routine the best judges' pick dance of the night. Inaba came down from the judges' podium to hug Riley, telling her, "You completely outdid yourself. … I'm so proud of you." Tonioli said Riley's footwork "was as sharp as a razor blade." Each judge gave Riley 10 points, for a perfect score of 30 for the routine.

Samba Relay

In the samba relay, couples took the floor while the others were leaving. They danced to TLC's live performance of their hit song, "No Scrubs," and judges rated them from first to fourth.

Bleu finished in first place in the relay, picking up five extra points from judges.

Riley finished second, earning an extra four points.

Osbourne got three extra points for finishing third.

Engvall earned two extra points for finishing fourth.

The Freestyle

Bill Engvall: Judges were thoroughly entertained by Engvall's swashbuckling, Indiana Jones-themed freestyle (and were even more delighted when he ripped his shirt off and flexed his muscles when the routine was over). "You've been trained but you've never been tamed. You always put your own little quirk into it," Goodman said. Tonioli said he believed Engvall's appeal went beyond dancing. "It's natty, it's batty, it's undescribable, but it's insanely good fun," he said. Inaba called Engvall "the everyman's man who's become a dancing hero," adding that he warmed her heart. Inaba and Tonioli each gave Engvall 8s, while Goodman gave him a 9, for a total of 25, and a grand total for the night of 51.

Corbin Bleu: Bleu put his stamp on Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" for his freestyle and judges loved it. "I normally do not like it when people try to copy iconic moments, and Michael Jackson, that's a big bite to chew. I think you nailed it!" Inaba said. Tonioli said Bleu combined iconic Jackson moves with amazing ballroom touches in a Las Vegas package, and he called it "magic." Goodman was uncharacteristically quiet when it was time for his review. All eyes were on him as he gave Bleu a standing ovation, and the audience followed suit. "Fabulous," Goodman said, smiling. Each judge gave Bleu a 10, for a total of 30 points, and a grand total for the night of 62 points.

Jack Osbourne: Osborne's glitzy Hollywood routine won the judges over in a big way. Inaba called it "a showstopper," and Goodman agreed, telling Osbourne that he was proud of him. Tonioli said the routine was "tailored to perfection." As the judges' approval sank in, Osbourne and his pro partner, Cheryl Burke, both started to tear up. He earned three 10s - or 30 points - for the routine, and a grand total for the night of 57 points.

Amber Riley: Riley's freestyle combined elements of step and country and it, too, wowed the judges. Inaba said Riley was "like a diva dancing James Brown," while Goodman told her that she was so good she managed to stand out even surrounded by the six pro dancers who formed part of the routine. Tonioli said Riley was a leading lady with star power, charisma and talent. "Nobody could ever take their eyes off you," he said. Riley got a second perfect score - 30 points - for the routine, for a night's total of 64 points.

Adam Taylor/ABC

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