Reigning Dancing With the Stars champ Hannah Brown will relinquish the Mirrorball trophy on Monday night — and she could very well pass it to a fellow Bachelorette.
Kaitlyn Bristowe, who handed out roses on Season 11 of ABC’s dating series, is one of four contestants to reach Dancing‘s Season 29 finale, along with rapper Nelly, Catfish host Nev Schulman and One Day at a Time actress Justina Machado. But before the show crowns a winner on Monday (ABC, 8/7c), we want your thoughts on which couple will — and should — emerge victorious.
Bristowe has had an eerily similar trajectory to the one Brown had last season: Though she’s been one of the most technically skilled amateurs since Week 1, Bristowe has gotten harsh criticism from judge Carrie Ann Inaba in particular, and her midseason performances were a string of so-so, mostly forgettable routines.
But she now seems to be peaking at exactly the right time, thanks to a fabulous Argentine tango on Icons Night, a redemption paso doble that was much stronger than the first time she attempted that style, and a stirring contemporary piece that honored her late friend. Plus, Bristowe and pro Artem Chigvintsev have never found themselves in jeopardy of getting eliminated, which could mean they have the votes to secure a win on Monday.
That said, Schulman and Nelly have also avoided the bottom two all season long; Schulman is perhaps the season’s strongest all-around dancer (that Black Swan routine!), but Nelly has effectively charmed the judges and viewers for weeks, and he seems to have strong support from voters despite scoring a bit lower than his fellow finalists.
The only finalist who has been in jeopardy before — just last week, in fact — is Machado, even though she’s performed consistently and earned season-long praise from the judges. Inaba, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli opted to put Machado in the finale over Disney Channel star Skai Jackson, but Machado’s appearance in the bottom two certainly gives her an extra hurdle to jump on Monday’s finale.
With such an evenly matched final four, there’s a lot resting on each contestant’s freestyle routine, which is one of two performances they’ll give on the finale; the other will be an encore of one of their favorite performances from earlier in the season, featuring “some new creative elements,” per ABC.
Who do you think will win Season 29? And who should? Cast your votes in our polls below, then drop a comment to back up your choices!