'Dancing With the Stars' Set for Finale

It's down to the final three teams on "Dancing with the Stars" -- with only one pair of hoofers waltzing off Sunday as the ultimate winner.

ABC is milking the suspense by dividing the season finale into two parts, a two-hour show on Thursday (8-10 p.m.), followed by a two-hour show on Sunday (also 8-10 p.m.)

After two months of rhumbas and waltzes, viewers and the "Dancing" judges have boiled the teams down to three: ex-boy bander Drew Lachey and partner Cheryl Burke; WWE wrestler Stacy Keibler and partner Tony Dovolani; and NFL great Jerry Rice and partner Anna Trebunskaya.

On Thursday, all three remaining teams will dance, but no one will be eliminated.

"In the first hour, we'll have a surprise dance, and we're going to concentrate on each of the final three teams with interviews, and they'll talk us through their dances," said "Dancing" executive producer Conrad Green.

"At 9 p.m., the competitive part kicks in, with each team doing two dances, including repeating what they think is their best dance of the season and a freestyle."

Thursday will also be the last time for the audience to vote. Their vote will count for 50 percent in Sunday's finale, and will be combined with the judges' 50 percent vote (25 percent on Thursday, 25 percent on Sunday).

"In the first hour of [Sunday's] show, the teams will do a brand-new dance based on their favorite discipline," Green said. "The judges will mark them on that.

"At the end of that hour, we'll announce the third-place finisher."

During Sunday's show, all of the "Dancing" stars from this season will return -- Tatum O'Neal, Master P, George Hamilton and Bruce Jenner, among others -- and will perform their favorite dances.

"We'll also have Mary J. Blige in the studio as a special guest, and she'll perform two numbers," Green said. "It's yet to be confirmed who will dance to that.

"Then we'll have the winner."

If anything, this second season of "Dancing" has proven that last summer's breakout showing was no fluke.

"Dancing" has regularly averaged around 20 million viewers each Thursday. Last week's Thursday episode of "Dancing," in fact, out-rated perennial powerhouse "Survivor" in total viewers.

Friday's half-hour elimination show, which was added this season, is also pulling big numbers (around 15 million viewers).

And, like last season, there's been some controversy over who's stayed and who's been booted off the show.

Early on, hip-hop impresario Master P, subbing for his injured son, Li'l Romeo, seemed to be reaping the benefits of the fan vote since he remained on the show for several weeks -- despite his wooden dancing, which teetered at times on boredom (or so it seemed) and incurred the judges' wrath.

Last Friday, soap star Lisa Rinna, she of the bee-stung lips, was voted off -- despite many fans feeling that Rice should've been eliminated instead.

Last season, many viewers were upset when soap star Kelly Monaco won over "Seinfeld's" John O'Hurley.