The curse of the Big Bash League minor premiers struck again as the Hobart Hurricanes were blown away at a blustery Bellerive.
Only once in the competition's eight-year history has the table-topping team gone on to claim the title after the Melbourne Stars did to the Hurricanes what the Hurricanes had done to them in 2014 and the Perth Scorchers last year.
Despite being unbeaten at Bellerive in eight matches, Adam Griffith's purple army went down by six wickets.
Seb Gotch hit a six over cover to see the Stars home with seven balls to spare.
It wasn't quite a Valentine's Day massacre, but it was hardly the romantic ending the Canes were hoping for as the competition's dominant team went out at the semi-final stage for the second time having also lost finals in 2014 and '18.
To add injury to insult, popular former captain George Bailey, who arrived at the venue on a bike, left in a sling after sustaining a gruesome arm injury in the outfield.
The Stars progress to Sunday's showpiece with the chance to end the BBL's worst finals record having been in every semi-final except one without winning a title.
Despite weather that threatened to see the Hurricanes live up to their name, a crowd of 12,404 turned up to support their team and escape from Clive Palmer.
Career-best figures for Daniel Worrall - the best against the Hurricanes this season - were pivotal in restricting the hosts to 7-153.
In a sensational opening spell, Worrall had the dangerous Matthew Wade - player of the match in last year's semi-final - caught behind and then clean bowled Caleb Jewell to leave the Hurricanes windswept on 2-5.
With the tournament's second-top run-scorer gone, the onus fell on its leader and D'Arcy Short appeared up to the task before misjudging the spin of Adam Zampa to depart for 35 with the team still in trouble at 3-42.
Bailey and Ben McDermott steadied the ship in a partnership short on both boundaries and dot balls and demanding on a 36-year-old's hamstrings.
After waiting 50 deliveries for a boundary, Bailey produced the tournament's 500th six, before adding its 501st next ball.
But just as the pair looked like hitting the accelerator, Glenn Maxwell put the brakes on by catching both.
Having waited until his 36th delivery to find the boundary, McDermott claimed another off the 38th before departing off the 42nd for a hard-earned top score of 53.
Simon Milenko and James Faulkner came and went quickly as the hosts stumbled to their total and Worrall completed his stunning spell of 4-23 - the first four-wicket haul against the Hurricanes this season.
Defending the relatively-modest total, the Hurricanes went for all-out pace in the powerplay.
And with Jofra Archer making the early breakthrough of former Cane Ben Dunk, Riley Meredith topping 150km/h and Faulkner unlucky with both an lbw shout and run-out attempt, the stage was set for the spinners.
Qais Ahmad delivered with 3-33 off four straight overs. Undeterred when Nic Maddinson hit him for two huge sixes, the leg spinner had him caught by Clive Rose to go with one of the balls of the tournament to clean bowl dangerman Marcus Stoinis (both 18) and later added Peter Handscomb lbw for 35.
But that was as good as it got for the Canes as Maxwell and Gotch produced an unbeaten partnership of 72 runs to see the visitors home.
Four days after being named international male Twenty20 cricketer of the year at the Australian Cricket Awards, Maxwell was at his devastating best, hitting 43 off 33 deliveries, although Gotch (33 not out) finished with the higher strikerate.
The second-placed Melbourne Renegades host the Sydney Sixers in the other semi-final at 7.40pm on Friday with the final scheduled for 2.45pm on Sunday afternoon.