'Dancing With the Stars': Nicole Scherzinger's freestyle is 'A-MAZ-ING,' Evan Lysacek's is 'odd'

dwts-evan-nicole-finale.jpg Nicole Scherzinger and Evan Lysacek have been neck-and-neck throughout the "Dancing With the Stars" season, and were even tied with 28 points each after their "redemption dances" Monday (May 25) night.

And then came the freestyle ...

The trouble for Lysacek and partner Anna Trebunskaya started in their rehearsals when they couldn't seem to agree on the style. Evidently they never quite reached a consensus, because their freestyle dance was all over the map. Bruno Tonioli told Lysacek he was "demented" and jumped about like he'd been "bitten by a tarantula." Carrie Ann Inaba called the dance "odd," while Len Goodman simply said, "It certainly wasn't what I wanted to see." Ouch.

Then out comes Scherzinger, who turned out one her most impressive routines to date and probably would have earned a perfect score if not for a little slip on a lift at the end. Inaba compared her to a "crazy high-octane dancing octopus" (that's a good thing), Goodman called it "fantastic," and Tonioli called it "technically superb" and "A-MAZ-ING."

Lysacek scored straight eights and a total of 52 points for the night, while Scherzinger received straight nines and 55 total. Erin Andrews, who's been a notch below both Lysacek and Scherzinger in terms of scoring throughout the competition, stepped up her game tonight and tied Nicole with 55 points.

Does Nicole have this competition in the bag -- or could Erin be the surprising underdog champion? Is it a lost cause for Evan at this point -- or could his fans still vote him to victory for his amazing past performances?

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Photo credit: ABC