Dancing with the Stars 2012 took another hip-shake toward crowning a brand new champion on May 21, as night one of the finals aired on ABC. One of the hourlong episode's highlights was classical singer Katherine Jenkins' energetic freestyle routine, which one judge deemed "the dance of a champion."
During rehearsals, Mark Ballas had high praise for his partner, calling her DWTS season 14's "most versatile" dancer. He hoped to showcase her broad and impressive ballroom range by incorporating a variety of styles into their no-holds-barred dance. For her part, Katherine promised to "do whatever it takes to get a perfect score" and "leave it all out on the floor."
When showtime rolled around, that's exactly what Katherine did. She opened her fast and furious freestyle in unique and memorable fashion by crooning the opening bars of their musical selection, the Andrews Sisters' "Sing, Sing, Sing (with a Swing)," before joining Mark on the floor. She showed off her skills admirably, and blended her footwork chops and elegance with great performance elements and even better facial expressions.
The judges were duly impressed. Bruno Tonioli called it "fast and flamboyant," and said he'd never seen "so much content so fast and so well-executed." Carrie Ann Inaba affirmed that Katherine could do "anything" and called the routine "the dance of a champion." Len Goodman closed out the commentary with "if I'm asleep and dreaming, don't wake me up. This is a freestyle."
Katherine and Mark earned a perfect score of 30 for their dance, bringing their night one total score to a doubly perfect 60, and landing them atop the leaderboard. But the lead is a slim one: co-finalists William Levy and Donald Driver trail by just a point each heading into Tuesday's grand finale.
Will Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas waltz away with the Mirrorball Trophy? Watch the Dancing with the Stars 2012 finale May 22 on ABC and find out.