In a season full of shocks (how did stellar dancers like Charlie White and Danica McKellar not make the finals?), unwelcome surprises (ploys like the Switch-Up and guest judges such as she-beast Abby Lee Miller), and suffering (call the ambulance, there’s another injury!), Season 18 of Dancing With The Stars inevitably concluded with what truly matters most – one teary-eyed celeb getting her mitts on the famous Mirrorball trophy.
That said, tonight’s DWTS finale was also one big reunion/celebration, which meant that much of the two-hour live show was jam packed with extras: Season 17 champ Amber Riley (performing her new single “Colorblind”) brightened up the festivities — along with performances by Ariana Grande, Cody Simpson, Iggy Azalea, and Christina Perri – plus the return of the celebs (hey, it’s Nene Leakes and Drew Carey!) to shamelessly mug for the camera and revisit some of the season’s most memorable dances. All that, plus our surviving finalists performed their last respective dances (under the heading of “The 24 Hour Fusion challenge).
Here’s a quick look at tonight’s Top 5 moments, plus the really, really, really big announcement:
TOP 5 MOMENTS (in no particular order)
MERYL’s MAGIC CONTINUES | So what’s next, Miss Perfect? Dancing a fox trot-cha cha fusion, Meryl’s insane tally of perfect 10s continued in the most astonishing style. Carrie Ann dropped all pretentions (“the best part of the season … was you two”) while Len dropped a personal bomb (“this may be my last season…”) and Bruno got romantic (“something’s stirring inside me … it’s like when you discover the passion and the excitement of your first love”). On a side note, can anyone remember the last time Meryl got a 9?
PERFECTION, THY NAME IS AMY | Dancing an Argentine tango-cha cha fusion, Amy and Derek brought the ballroom to its feet, earning a trio of perfect 10s. Len played down the emotions and focused on the footwork (“you are a fantastic dancer”) while Carrie Ann (“there’s so much to say, I could write a novel to you…”) also gave Derek a well-deserved nod. Bruno simply called her “unforgettable” and who can argue with that?
ERIN ANDREWS, UNCUT! | Is it just me, or were the unaired segments of Erin’s delightfully snarky highlight-reel clips light years better and more appealing than her live segments? Though Tom Bergeron explained this was Erin’s “R”-rated footage (apparently unfit for prime time), I found this upgraded version of Brooke Burke Charvet’s successor (“want me to smack you now or later?”) exceedingly more entertaining. More naughty, uncensored Erin next season, please!
DRESS REHEARSALS, GONE WILD! | While we’re at it, can we just turn the entire Season 19 into one of those highly appealing, hilarious, and refreshingly real dress-rehearsal clips we saw tonight? Have Tom Bergeron (“you can Tweet as many times as you like, we don’t give a #$%#$”), Bruno Tonioli (“Are we done?”) and Len Goodman (he giggles!) ever been more DVR-worthy? I smell at ratings bonanza, ABC!
WELCOME BACK, AMBER | The season 17 DWTS champ reminded us just how talented, dynamic and joyful she is, stealing the show with her astonishing voice and presence in that happy and healthy dance segment.
Now, onto the results…
Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas
FINAL TWO COUPLES COMPETING FOR THE MIRRORBALL
Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Amy Purdy & Derek Hough
Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
“It’s just plastic, but it means so much,” said Maks of winning the long-awaited Mirrorball trophy for the first time, before adding, “to do it with Meryl, is a dream come true. There’s a reason why it didn’t happen before, because this was meant to happen with us.”