Final 3 couples eliminated from 'Dancing with the Stars: Athletes' before finale

PHOTO: Mirai Nagasu and Alan Bersten on "Dancing with the Stars," May 15, 2018.PlayABC
WATCH 'Dancing' couple speaks out after triple elimination

The finale of "Dancing with the Stars: Athletes" is set: Figure skater Tonya Harding and partner Sasha Farber, NFL star Josh Norman and partner Sharna Burgess, and figure skater Adam Rippon and partner Jenna Johnson will compete for the Mirror Ball trophy next Monday night on ABC.

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The night ended with the brutal elimination of three couples – luge athlete Chris Mazdzer and partner Witney Carson, Jennie Finch Daigle and partner Keo Motsepe, and Mirai Nagasu and partner Alan Bersten.

Nagasu and Bersten joined “Good Morning America” to discuss their feelings now that the elimination has sunk in.

“There's a lot of expectations with this season. Mirai is such a good dancer and she proved that this season,” her pro partner said. “I was a little nervous with the choreography because it's such an important night and I wanted her to do amazing and I honestly thought she did the best.”

The Olympian echoed her partner’s praise and said that now she will focus on cheering for USA figure skating teammate Adam Rippon.

“I would have liked to have been a part of this journey and gone to the finale, but I'm team Adam all the way,” Nagasu said.

This week was "MVP Week," as the contestants all dedicated individual dances to their own "Most Valuable Persons." Those dances were followed by "Ballroom Battles," where two couples each faced off against each other, doing the same dance simultaneously.

Also this week, contestants got some help from guest mentors and a guest judge, all former athletes who'd competed on past seasons. Season 24 runner-up, baseball star David Ross, served as a fourth judge, while the Ballroom Battle couples were mentored by season 18 champ and Olympic skater Meryl Davis, season 22 contestant and football star Von Miller, and season 20 semifinalist and Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin.

Here's a recap of the night's dances and scores:

Mirai chose her mother as her MVP. She and Alan did a quickstep to "Bo$$” by Fifth Harmony. The judges all approved of the performance, though Mirai was criticized for her posture at times. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba showed off her language skills by telling Mirai's mom that her daughter had done well ... in Japanese. Score: 35/40

Jennie chose her husband Casey as her MVP. She and Keo performed a romantic Viennese Waltz to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's "The Rest of Our Lives." Carrie Ann said she wished the competition was longer so Jennie would have more room to grow and improve each week. Score: 29/40

Chris chose his mom, a "Dancing with the Stars" superfan, as his MVP. He and Witney performed a show-stopping foxtrot to "I've Got Rhythm," which featured them dancing on top of a piano and doing choreography with hats. At the end, Chris' mom joined in. Carrie Ann was booed when she said she'd ding the couple for sneaking in a lift, which they argued was more of a "catch." Score: 33/40

Tonya chose her late father, who passed away nine years ago, as her MVP, and spoke about how much she missed him. At the end of their emotional rumba to "See You Again" by Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa, Tonya was literally in tears. Score: 33/40

Adam chose his mother as his MVP. He and Jenna danced a stunning contemporary dance to "O," the Coldplay song he skated to in the Olympics. The bird-themed performance actually started out inside a giant birdcage. Carrie Ann called the dance "perfection," while Bruno Tonioli said it was a "masterpiece." All the judges except Len Goodman gave the couple 10s. Score: 39/40

Josh chose his four brothers as his MVPs. He and Sharna danced a contemporary number to Ben E. King's "Stand By Me." The judges loved it, with Ross calling it "smooth" and "beautiful." Score: 36/40

Once the partner dances were complete, the Ballroom Battles began. The winning couple from each pairing received two extra points.

Here's what happened in the Ballroom Battles:

Jennie and Keo danced the cha-cha against Tonya and Sasha. The judges voted to give the points to Tonya and Sasha, though America's vote, displayed on the "Passionmeter," showed that viewers preferred Jennie and Keo, with 60 percent of the vote.

Best friends Adam and Mirai faced off against each other, each performing a super-energetic jive. The judges were tied, so America's vote was used to determine the winner. It was Adam and Jenna, with 64 percent.

Josh and Sharna then went up against Chris and Witney, dancing a salsa. Both men ripped off their shirts and showed off their sexy moves, and at first, it appeared to be a tie. Then it was revealed that Ross had mistakenly voted for Chris and Witney when he meant to vote for Josh and Sharna, so they got the points, though America preferred Chris and Witney, with 55 percent.

At the end of the show, the first couple to be announced as finalists was Adam and Jenna, followed by Tonya and Sasha and, finally, Josh and Sharna.

The finale of "Dancing with the Stars: Athletes" airs next Monday night on ABC.

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