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Kristi Yamaguchi Chasing Reality Show Title

It's Down to Three on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC the final journey on “Dancing With the Stars” begins. The final three teams will battle it out for the coveted disco ball trophy and the title of season 6 will be determined by tomorrow evening.

The results show will be broadcast live tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9 p.m.

As the show’s website says, “Marissa has been sent from the floor! Now it's time for Kristi, Jason and Cristian to reach for greatness in the finals.”

The final three teams are Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas, Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska, and Cristían de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke. Marissa Jaret Winokur was voted off the show last week. It wasn’t much of a surprise as she has been at the bottom of the judges’ dance card for the last few weeks.

The show has grown in popularity since its debut in the summer of 2005 (the show generally airs a new season several times a year). Season 6 has been one of its best, in terms of talent and TV ratings. "Dancing With the Stars" has seen its viewership go up year to year. Its audience of 20 million-plus will almost certainly make it the runner-up to “American Idol” in reality shows in this season’s Nielsen sweepstakes.

According to the latest Las Vegas odds, Yamaguchi is favored to win the show (the odds are 4:5).

Yamaguchi, the 1992 Olympic ladies champion, and Ballas have been the favorites from week one, but each of the other two teams have showed signs that it could claim the top spot.

However, it will be hard to take out Yamaguchi and Ballas who have been atop the judges’ leader board most weeks. Yamaguchi has the elegance and style seen in her singles career as a figure skater. And let us not forget she was also a very successful pairs skater (along with Rudy Galindo she won two U.S. pairs titles).

If Yamaguchi wins the TV event, it will be only the second time a woman had been voted the champion of the ABC hit show.

But those skills will only take her so far. The wild card here is the audience vote, which makes up a percent of the final result.

NFL player Taylor has proven to be a tenacious competitor (no surprise there). The Miami Dolphins defensive end is a smooth dancer. Taylor also has a charming on-air presence (an acting career appears to be in his future) that may sway voters his way.

The sentimental favorite has to be de la Fuente. He is basically dancing with the use of one arm after an on-air fall left him with a serious injury. But in the company of the two other teams, it seems like his odds of winning are slim.

Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday and Tuesday night during and up to 30 minutes after the “Dancing With The Stars” performance shows. AT&T subscribers may also text message their votes by texting the word "VOTE" and entering the number that corresponds to the team they want to support. They may also vote online at www.abc.com at the end of each performance show until noon, ET the following day.

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The show’s website is http://abc.go.com/primetime/dancingwiththestars.