Credit: ABC

Dancing fam: We did it! Okay, we didn’t physically push our bodies to perform dancing routines at a professional level for two months like our contestants, but emotionally, we really did it. We survived what has been a wild and wacky season of dancing, full of eliminations that made very little sense and forced us to stuff our feelings way down inside and move forward like the professional DWTS audience we are. Our prize for doing so? A finale episode (they did away with our two-night finale extravaganza, for better or worse) so packed with joy, we can all walk away feeling like winners.

Just kidding — there can only be one winner and the four remaining couples have two rounds to prove it should be them. They’ll be doing a repeat dance of their choice in the first round, and this season, we’re ending with the always highly anticipated freestyle round. Scattered throughout our couples’ final routines we get some great performances like: Sharna and Artem making everyone feel things during a Dan + Shay live performance; Jenna and Joe reprising their “I’m Too Sexy” gas station worker routine, this time flanked by other beefy Bachelor contestants because sure why not?; the male pros deciding to try out a strip show featuring DeMarcus Ware; and Juan Pablo and Cheryl performing their flawless Argentine tango in order to remind us all that they should be dancing in this finale.

There’s a whole lot of dancing packed into these two hours, so for the last time this season, let us get into it.


Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten
Argentine Tango, “Swan Lake” by Ray Chew Live
Alan and Alexis choose their week two ballet-ballroom fusion routine as their repeat dance partially because it was one of their favorites and partially to redeem their tutu wardrobe malfunction. There’s lots of talk about how much Alexis has grown throughout the competition and that’s because of Alan, etcetera, etcetera. When they get out on the dance floor, the tutu comes off, but this routine doesn’t have as much impact as it did the first time around. Alexis has looked sharper. It’s still gorgeous — and even Len enjoys the lyrical ballet section, which feels like a feat for Mr. Messing About — but the judges make it clear it won’t be a perfect score due to a few missteps. It still beats their original score and that’s growth, people.
Judges’ Score: 27/30

Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess
Cha Cha, “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer
Bobby and Sharna dancing their Trio Week MC Hammer routine just feels right. Bobby is here because he’s a fan favorite and is living his best life out on that dance floor. This cha cha encapsulates that perfectly. His dream was to do the MC Hammer dance in Hammer pants and he achieved that. See? Keep dreaming people! This time around, the routine feels more polished and somehow, more energized. Does Bobby do the cha cha content correctly? Not really. But the judges understand he’s not here for that. He’s working hard and enjoying the process and sometimes that’s all you need. He also gets the judges to sign his shoes at the end and that’s such an endearingly baller move it makes me happy that he’s here in the finals.
Judges’ Score: 24/30

Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe
Tango, “Disturbia” by Rihanna
Evanna’s journey on this show has been about her growing in confidence and owning that ballroom floor, so it only seems right that she and Keo would perform their Halloween Night tango where that transformation truly began. You may remember this tango as “the cat lady dance,” but, like, a very ferocious cat. They nailed this routine the first time around — they were docked one point from Len for frame-reasons, which is so typical Len you can’t hate it — but it’s even better on repeat. Carrie Ann calls Evanna the most improved of the season by far. Know that I’m crying for them even before Emma Watson pops up to send her Harry Potter co-star a little love. You can bet the waterworks turned on in full force after that. Harry Potter ladies gotta stick together!
Judges’ Score: 30/30

Milo Manheim and Witney Carson
Charleston, “Living in New York City” live performance by Robin Thicke
Bless Milo and Witney for choosing to repeat this week 2 Charleston. This pair — as Carrie Ann says, the ones to beat — have a lot of memorable routines, but this one was such an electric celebration the first time, it’s fitting for them to perform it again on the finale. Milo really hasn’t had a misstep this season, and he continues that trend tonight. Even Len, who gave them an “8” the first time around due to “lack of Charleston swivel” is a full-blown fan this time around. He also makes a weird comment about having underwear older than Milo and you can really tell this is the end of the season.
Judges’ Score: 30/30

(Next: It’s time to let those freestyles fly)


Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten
Freestyle, “Head Above Water” live performance by Avril Lavigne
Well, welcome back to the world Avril Lavigne. She provides the soundtrack for Alexis and Alan’s freestyle. Unsurprisingly, they decide to go the emotional contemporary route for their final dance. It’s all about Alexis’s journey on this show, conquering the mountain and a bunch of other metaphors. It’s not the celebratory freestyle so many look forward to in this round, but Alexis is right: the routine shows off her strengths. She moves all three of the judges both with her display of technical prowess and the dynamics in the emotional story she’s telling. But we just couldn’t get out of this season without some on-camera kissing, could we?
Judges’ Score: 30/30

Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess
Freestyle, “The Greatest Show” (Remix) by Panic at the Disco
Now, this is what I’m talking about Bobby Bones! Sharna choreographs a freestyle that is a complete celebration of his time on this show. From the start, Bobby brought joy (and sometimes madness) to the ballroom and that’s exactly what this routine is. I mean, DeMarcus Ware lifts Bobby in the middle of it. Other contestants from the season and Erin and Tom hop in at the end to floss with Bobby (Tom literally flosses his teeth, once again proving he truly is America’s Dad). The routine feels so Bobby Bones —which is exactly how a freestyle should feel. Even Len calls Bobby his champion. What a way to go out!
Judges’ Score: 30/30

Milo Manheim and Witney Carson
Freestyle, “Ain’t No Sunshine” (Lido Remix) by Bill Withers
Um, I’m sorry — did Milo just do a backflip off some dude’s hands? I LOVE THIS SHOW. This routine is much more artistic than Bobby’s, but the joy Milo has while dancing is still felt so profoundly. This is the type of routine you need to watch several times just to pick up all the nuances and details Witney added to the choreography. Like, props to the dancers just moving umbrellas up and down in the background. The judges are blown away by Milo’s versatility as a dancer and an entertainer. The routine shows off his control, his musicality, his technical skills, and his ability to dance in water while in the dark. That last thing is v. important, by the way. This routine is just stellar.
Judges’ Score: 30/30

Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe
Freestyle, “It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk
This song is built for a great freestyle and Keo and Evanna — who somewhere along the way became the cutest couple on this show — use the change in tempo and music styles to their advantage. Keo choreographs a routine that both pays homage to the original music video and really shows Evanna off. She’s doing jazz, she’s doing contemporary, there is waltzing. Len calls it stunning. Bruno tells Evanna she’s a leading lady. Carrie Ann wants to see it again. I know it’s sad and all that the dream team — Keo calls her his family, I am a dead person — has to break up, but it is truly the best way to go out. By that, I mean both those rave reviews and also getting hoisted up on a cherry picker for a view from the top.
Judges’ Score: 30/30

And somehow, so quickly, we’ve reached the end of our journey together here on season 27. Just as I’m about to write something snarky about how they had to cut so much from the finale but somehow keep the awkward “someone sings live while the finalists stand awkwardly and watch footage of themselves” tradition, I burst out into tears as Lauren Daigle sings over a dancing montage. Oh, DWTS, you know exactly what you’re doing.

Unfortunately, they’re only announcing the winner and not revealing where the rest of the finalists stack up. That seems unfair to the remaining couples, but add it to the list of things that seem unfair this season. And it doesn’t matter because, in the end, only one couple can be crowned champions, and that couple is…Bobby and Sharna.

CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE? The People’s Champ takes home the crown. Not to mention, DWTS Queen Sharna has been patiently waiting for her first trophy and finally, FINALLY she has one of her very own. It may not be with the partner we would’ve guessed, but what can you do? Bobby may not have been anywhere close to the highest scorer or the best technical dancer, but man, he really loves this show. Isn’t that the kind of person you want keeping the Mirrorball trophy safe and warm until season 28?

UPDATE 11/20/18: Dancing With the Stars announced the final standings through their social media pages the morning after the finale. After Bobby and Sharna in 1st place, Milo and Witney take 2nd place, Evanna and Keo land in 3rd place, and Alexis and Alan end the season in 4th place.

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