Our long national nightmare is over. Oh, wait! That happened on Nov. 11. Actually, the 28th season finale of Dancing With the Stars was a tad sad because it was missing a Van Der Beek in the running for the Mirror Ball trophy. But a terrific dancer took the top prize and we did get to see Carrie Ann Inaba fall out of her chair again. And who can forget how the costume department trolled Spicey by dressing him up as Frankenstein? Love a good finale montage, followed by a Pitbull performance and a much-needed visit by Cher.
Let’s get busy crowning the next king — or queen — of the ballroom!
Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko: So the country star brought back her foxtrot to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” Can we tough love this gal’s journey now? Lauren offered lots of sweet, comic relief this season and definitely rocked a pair of boots earlier in the show’s run but I can’t help but feel she’s occupying a spot in the finale that was supposed to go to the Beek. Maybe that’s why she came in last place during the first round. Score: 27 out of 30
Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten: Despite all those episodes showing the bachelorette missing Alabama, I actually think Hannah saw DWTS as her home away from home — due, in no small part, to how great it made her look compared to that ridiculous dating show. “What lovely, sweeping movement across the floor,” said Goodman. “So much more confident, engaging, radiant. You flowed so much better,” added Bruno Tonioli. Score: 28 out of 30
Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber: Talk about the most improved, man. How many weeks was the former Fifth Harmony-er in the bottom two? Now she’s racking up the 30s like nobody’s business! Tonight’s re-do — the jive to “Proud Mary” — was just another hint that maybe we underestimated this lil’ crooner for far too long. Score: Perfect 30
Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson: He revisited his jazz performance to “We’re All in This Together” from Disney night but — let’s be frank — it never felt like a jazz dance in the first place so it doesn’t look any more jazz-y now. But the whole High School Musical phenomenon is so fun, and Kel looks dang cute in that varsity jacket, and, well, the judges aren’t done quite yet, doling out 10s. “It was better the second time you did it,” exclaimed Carrie Ann Inaba. “You were right out the front the whole time, leader of the pack,” added Len Goodman Score: Perfect 30
Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson: The comedian chose to sign off with a breathless hip-hop performance that sped up at the end and probably gave half the viewing audience a heart attack. It was right in Kel’s wheelhouse but Len was having none of it. “I’m not going to be the party pooper here,” he said to a booing crowd. “This for me was similar to the first dance you did.” Look, he’s right. His partners-in-crime felt otherwise, though. “I have to say that final acceleration…really was exhilarating,” said Tonioli. Inaba was just as giddy. Score: 29 out of 30
Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber: Wait, did Sasha just spank Ally to the beat? That seemed off. So did at least one of her crazy lifts. But Ally came out like she was the lead singer in a girl band (take that, Fifth Harmony!) and put the “shake your body baby” in her “Do the Conga” music. She couldn’t hold back any longer! The judges agreed. “It was a show stopper,” said Tonioli. “I’ve seen every single freestyle, but I’ve never seen anything like that,” added Inaba. Score: Perfect 30
Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko: Gleb makes an attractive cowboy, but we’re not here to watch him. We’re not here to watch a troupe of shiz-kickin hoofers, either. So why all those hotties were too good at upstaging the singer, I don’t know. But clearly, I was in the minority: The judges dug it. “This was the perfect freestyle for you,” said Inaba. “You paid homage to your roots,” added Goodman. Score: her first perfect 30!
Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten: By the time she was lifted over everyone’s head, Hannah looked absolutely exhausted. But she danced — and flipped! — her ass off in that final number, and stuck her booty out like a real pro. “You came out sharp,” said Goodman. “It was great.” Added Tonioli, “It was superb.” Score: Perfect 30
We interrupt this regularly scheduled recap to honor the magnificent Cher, who paid tribute to her old variety show and her former partner, the late Sonny Bono, by singing “The Beat Goes On” before the winner was announced. Sonny’s voice (and image) was even dropped into the performance! Can’t she and her go-go dancers just wrap up the season for us, instead?
Nope, attention must be paid to the season’s best dancer.
Fourth place went to Lauren and Gleb. Third place (!) went to Ally and Sasha.
Kel finished in second place and Hannah is the winner!
Don’t go away just yet, ballroom lovers! Make sure to tune into this season’s final installment of Eye on the Ball, Sirius XM’s first on-demand, DWTS recap show hosted by me and Patrick Gomez. You can find the show on the Sirius XM app!
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