‘Dancing With the Stars’ Kicks Off Two-Night Finale as Another Contestant Gets Ejected

Judges pick what style finalists James Hinchcliffe, Calvin Johnson, Jr., Laurie Hernandez and Jana Kramer perform in a “redemption dance”


(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Monday’s “Dancing With the Stars”)

And then there were four…

“Dancing With the Stars” began its two-night finale Monday with James Hinchcliffe, Calvin Johnson Jr., Laurie Hernandez and Jana Kramer competing for the Season 23 Mirror Ball.

To add even more pressure to the mix, the judges challenged the contestants to the max by deciding what style they performed in a “redemption” dance.

Country singer Kramer struggled with the critics’ choice and the freestyle dance that followed, leading the underdog to ultimately get ejected.

“I’ve learned so much about myself and what I can do and how strong I can really be,” she said when delivered the bad news. “It was so much fun.”

Earlier in the night, former NFL star Johnson tackled a Viennese Waltz, after which Len Goodman (recently returned from England) said he was the most-improved contestant in the finals. “You had the loving care of a true gentleman,” Bruno Tonioli added. “You are always so watchable.”

Megatron then got to prove what a good dad he is too, when his Minitron son Caleb ran out on stage to surprise him.

Before she got eliminated, Kramer tackled a tango after doing it injured in Week 2, but unfortunately pro partner Gleb got sick and struggled at rehearsals — and it showed. Julianne Hough said “she didn’t see the spark she was hoping for,” while the other judges debated if they should be penalized over their lift.

After dealing with the pressure of the show and her grandmother’s death last week, Olympic gymnast Hernandez raised the bar yet again with a paso doble that was “wicked in the best possible way,” according to Tonioli. “There was nothing in this dance I didn’t like,” Goodman praised.

IndyCar driver Hinchcliffe channeled his inner dorky geek to his sexy librarian pro partner, which allowed Goodman to deliver a cracking pun. “If you went to the library, got a dictionary and looked up ‘dance talent,’ you’d find a ‘James Hinchcliffe’ right there,” he said.

The Season 23 winner will be announced Tuesday night in a live broadcast from The Grove in Los Angeles.

Check out Johnson’s adorable reunion with his son in the video below.

“Dancing With the Stars” airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m.