If you’re a big fan of emotional highlight reels, shirtless male dancers and the occasional cameo from Gary Busey, you probably felt very satisfied at the end of Dancing With the Stars‘ Season 21 finale, regardless of who was crowned the champion.
Indeed, before the Mirrorball trophy could be awarded to either Nick Carter, Bindi Irwin or Alek Skarlatos, Tuesday’s season ender served up two hours of musical performances, encores of the season’s best (and perhaps some of the worst?) routines and, best of all, Santa Claus!
Before we reveal the Season 21 victors — or scroll down now, if you must! — a quick recap of the evening’s highlights:
* Chaka Khan and Andy Grammer knocked it out of the park — er, The Grove — with their respective performances of “I’m Every Woman” and “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah)”… before pairing up on a rather odd “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” duet — now featuring 50 percent fewer correct lyrics!
* Elle King, on the other hand, provided one of the night’s standout moments with a gritty, even-better-than-the-recording performance of her single, “Ex’s & Oh’s.”
* Exciting News Alert: Len Goodman — who sat out Season 21 — confirmed he will be back behind the judges’ table for Season 22, premiering in March.
* A number of this season’s contestants returned for encores of their most memorable routines — but when you compare Bindi Irwin’s blindfolded waltz to Victor Espinoza’s crotch-tastic salsa, the word “memorable” took on a really flexible definition.
* The last three couples standing performed their final numbers of the season: the dreaded 24-hour fusion routines. And, in a weird twist of déjà vu, each pair received the exact same scores as they did Monday night — that is, perfect scores for Nick and Bindi, and a 27 out of 30 for poor Alek.
* Speaking of Alek, he and Lindsay took third place…
* …while Bindi and Derek were crowned the Season 21 champs! (“Bindi deserved it! She kicked butt!” runner-up Nick announced, in a show of great sportsmanship.)
With that, I turn it over to you. Did Bindi and Derek deserve the Mirrorball trophy? Hit the comments with your thoughts on the finale and Season 21 overall!