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Dancing With the Stars finale recap: Season 23, Episode 15

And then there was one

Posted on

Eric McCandless/ABC

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

This Thanksgiving, let’s all gather around the bedazzled dining room table and give thanks for Dancing With the Stars season 23. After all, it is the season that gave us Maks as Khal Drogo. We were moved to tears thanks to a Willy Wonka-themed Viennese Waltz. We bore witness to the strange bromance of Vanilla Ice and Rick Perry. There was an engagement and a ballroom shower and an Urkel sighting. Oh, and Megatron danced on a gosh darned treadmill. So many things to be thankful for!

A DWTS season finale is always all about celebrating the season that was with video packages and encore performances and more video packages… and then some video packages. There’s also lots of pro performances and musical acts. Plus, we’re skipping over Thanksgiving and heading straight for Christmas. If it means seeing little Laurie living her best life while wearing a Santa hat, I’m on board. Lest you think the finale is just one big party, don’t forget we still have one more round of competition before the winner of the coveted Mirrorball trophy is announced. Will it be Laurie, James, or Calvin who claims that glittery prize? I DON’T KNOW AND THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME.

Before we get to the final round of dancing — each couple is given two dance styles and asked to put together a routine incorporating both in just 24 hours — let’s talk finale highlights.

All three of our finalists get to perform an encore of their favorite dance from the season. James and Sharna choose their foxtrot from Cirque Week… which is surprising. Calvin and Lindsay bring back their sexy Argentine tango — you remember it, the one with that insane windmill lift. Laurie and Val — BLESS THEM — perform their trio with Maks one more time, because when is there ever enough Chmerkovskiy-on-Chmerkovskiy dancing? The answer is never.

Now, let’s talk about dreams for a moment, that’s what this show is all about in its very core anyway. Maureen McCormick gets to live out her dream by dancing with a whole gaggle of very handsome men, including Babyface and Ryan Lochte. Bruno’s dreams come true when Jana and Gleb dance their group shower Argentine tango one last time. My dreams come true before my eyes as Vanilla Ice performs “Ice Ice Baby” live on Dancing With the Stars. (So, Rick Perry isn’t there in my actual dream, but I can’t say his turn as Ice’s DJ was wholly unwelcome.) And then all of America’s dreams come true when the men of the ballroom dance to Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic.” They dance it while wearing blazers with no shirts, which I’m going to assume was a gift to me, the biggest known fan of that specific wardrobe combination. Thanks, guys!

The greatest dream of all is definitely Mandy Moore’s holiday number, which tells the magical story of a little girl and a whole slew of beautiful people dancing with her through a screen. Also, Fik-Shun from So You Think You Can Dance is there, so if you missed this number, you should stop what you’re doing and go watch it immediately.

NEXT: One last dance