Warning: This recap of the Dancing With the Stars finale contains spoilers.
The first night of the Dancing With the Stars two-part finale was fast-paced and full of score-worthy content, but Night No. 2 was all about the fluff. One night after the final three couples gave us six dances jam-packed into one quick hour, the DWTS finale was a two-and-a-half hour spectacle that included performances by troupe members, past champs (Season 10’s Nicole Scherzinger), a plug for the Dirty Dancing reboot, and cameos by all of the kicked off contestants we knew would never win.
The final order of business for the finalists were the 24-hour fusion dances, which sound pretty confusing but could have been a heck of a lot worse. Does Knight Rider Bhangra ring a bell? Or Caveman Hustle? Yeah, we’ll take this.
Details about the last dances are below, but first, let’s address the elephant in the room: Who won this season’s mirrorball? The winners and new champions of Dancing With the Stars are…
LIKE, BATHROOM BREAK LONG.
Rashad and Emma!
Time was short (they only had 150 minutes to announce this thing, but waited until minute 149 to do so), so the winners were swooped off stage for a ride to the Grove in a glittery golf cart. En route, Rashad Jennings told host Tom Bergeron that his streak of never winning anything “turned around right now.”
The Dancing With the Stars winner joins the ranks of Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward, and Donald Driver as the latest NFL star to nab a blinged-out mirrorball and endless bragging rights. Interestingly, Rashad and Emma didn’t end their DWTS run with a perfect score. Their fusion dance got a minor ding. (From Len, who else?) Here’s how the final dances played out.
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: 40/40
Fusion Dance: Argentine Tango/Foxtrot
The big shocker of the night was the fact that Normani and Val landed in third place. Third! Not runner-up. The Fifth Harmony star nailed her final two dances with perfect judges’ scores — so you can’t blame them! — which means the tribe (and by tribe, we mean America) has spoken. Julianne Hough called Normani’s fusion dance “flawless” and “gorgeous,” and Carrie Ann Inaba told the star, “You were born to win this competition.” Except she didn’t.
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: 39/40
Fusion Dance: Cha Cha/Tango
The DWTS winner landed in the middle of the pack for his final dance, but past judges’ score and viewer votes pushed him over the top. Bruno Tonioli told the pro football player that watching him dance is like “watching a rising star getting brighter,” but Len Goodman put a damper on things by reminding everyone that finale night is not a “10-fest.” (It isn’t??? )“I can’t do that,” the grumpy judge said. “I’d like to see hold a little tighter and more heel leads.” Guess who pulled out his 9 paddle?
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: 36/40
Fusion Dance: Foxtrot/Salsa
Fans may have carried this MLB star, who turned out to be one of the most popular DWTS contestants ever, to second place, but in the end, David Ross proved that he deserved to be in the finals just as much as anyone. This season’s underdog danced “a proper fusion dance,” Len said. Plus he was so much fun. One look at that Magic Mike-themed jazz redo, complete with those red skivvies and hilarious fake abs, and you know what we mean. Before his runner-up status was announced, Bruno reminded David that whatever happens, he is still a winner. “You already are the people’s champ,” he said. Yeah, but tell that to the guy who has the mirrorball.
And that’s a wrap, Dancing fans. Until next fall…
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