Kirstie Alley lost Monday’s battle — but might have won Tuesday’s war.
Although she nabbed the night’s lowest score on the first night of Dancing with the Stars grand finale, the 60-year-old Cheers star stole the show with a lively freestyle dance that would make Mary Lou Retton proud. In it, she showed off her shrinking figure in a form fitting black catsuit and even performed lifts and cartwheels!
“Ten weeks ago, I would never have thought of you even attempting to do lifts and things that you’ve done,” Bruno Tonioli told Alley. “Respect, girl. Respect!”
More praise came from judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who lauded Alley for keeping up with her younger competitors.
“You are the new poster child for life as it should be lived at 60 years old!” Inaba told the Look Who’s Talking star. “Free, loving, poignant, crazy, wacky, unpredictable, and all of the above, and then some.”
Judge Len Goodman praised Alley for taking chances, telling her, “You gotta risk it, if you want the biscuit!”
The secret to Alley’s success? She says it’s her partner, Russian beefcake Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
“He just forced me to do things every single week, and I just had to do what he says.”
Following Monday’s successful showing, Alley tweeted: “I’m overwhelmed.. I can not say thank u enough for your undying support of Maks and I… U are such a huge part of our lives.. #won’t forget.”
Elsewhere, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and Disney star Chelsea Kane each received 59 out of 60 possible points with their freestyles, falling just a point short of a perfect score. Alley notched 54 out of 60.
Fun fact: Alley wore the same costume Monday that she did on the show’s season opener, but it had to be taken in a whopping 38 inches because of the weight she’s shed this season. (Way to go Kirstie!)
Those eliminated from the competition this season include The Karate Kid Ralph Macchio, rapper Romeo, wrestler Chris Jericho, boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, talk show host Wendy Williams, radio personality Mike Catherwood, model Petra Nemcova and reality star Kendra Wilkinson.
Tonight’s season finale will feature performances from Sarah Evans, the Black Eyed Peas and a special surprise guest; Alley, Ward, and Kane will perform one dance apiece before one of them is awarded the coveted mirrorball. It all starts on ABC Tuesday.