DWTS Judge Carrie Ann Inaba Breaks Down The Finalists

Carrie Ann Inaba breaks down the finalists on Dancing With The Stars at TV Guide. Below are her thoughts on Amber & Derek and Jack & Cheryl.

Amber and Derek:
Amber’s been grappling with a knee injury all season, but she needs to power through (with clearance from her doctor) for the finale, according to Inaba, who insists that “at this point in the game, injury or no injury, she’s got to bring her A+ game.” The judges’ pick for Amber is the Charleston — the dance where her troubles began. “This is the dance where I was telling her that her upper half was bangin’ and she’s such a great performer with her upper half, but her bottom half was sort of weaker. And I think when you have that kind of weakness, that’s how you get injured,” Inaba notes. And so, if she comes back really strong and tight and balanced with her upper body and lower body performance, I think that would be great.” The judges will also be looking for Amber to make “some sort of breakthrough” in the finale. “She needs to take it up a notch,” according to Inaba. “And I think that’s going to be challenging for her, because she’s sort of ridden at the top of the leaderboard throughout the whole season. … The way she performs, her energy just comes like a skyrocket out of her, and it’s really exciting to watch. But nothing really stands out to me as a super memorable signature for Amber dance.”

Jack and Cheryl

The judges are thrilled with the way Jack’s technique has improved throughout the season, according to Inaba, but they’re looking for a little more oomph in the final. “Jack I think just needs to continue adding pizzazz to his performances,” Inaba says. “He’s definitely impressed us all with his incredible technique, his posture, his hold, his frame, his genteel manner when he dances. … He makes a connection every time he gets out on the dance floor, and he’s got this elegance in the way he moves and great technique, great footwork.” But especially up against Corbin and Karina and Amber and Derek, he’ll have to focus more on the theatricality of the dance. “What he needs to work on is to make sure that his performances have incredible sparkle and a vibrancy,” Inaba says. “Jack has been slower to come out of his shell as far as the exuberant performances. He’s had moments where he’s done it. The judges picked the jive, which I thought he did great the first time, but Len and Bruno felt he had more to improve upon. So I think in order to impress Len and Bruno for that judges’ pick and raise his score, he’s got to really up the excitement and the tightness of it. He needs to just sort of let it go and really sparkle.”

To read about Corbin & Karina and Emma & Bill, see TV Guide.