Dancing with the Stars, Season 25, Week 10, Finals, Night 1
Jordan & Lindsay and Lindsey & Mark both get perfect scores; Drew & Emma’s odds-defying run finally ends.
Dancing with the Stars always loves to up the ante, and this season finale, it’s up from three to four. The finalists will do four dances, one more than usual tomorrow night. And we’re back up to four judges, with Julianne Hough ceremonially coming out during the opening number right after the final four.
Although they need four judges, since the first round’s Redemption and each couple needed a judge to give them some in-studio help, as each takes on a style they did less than well earlier this season:
Drew Scott & Emma Slater: Paso Doble; “Get Ready” Rayelle
Bruno shows up in the studio in a sexy construction worker’s outfit that gets Drew criticizing his choice of tool accompaniment. He has a lot of advice to give because Drew was a mess with this dance earlier. He makes good use of that advice tonight. This time around he paso dobles with superb control of his movements, a good amount of presence, and also some needed aggression. Though that fades slightly near the end, especially after they make an error on one of the moves. Despite that, Carrie Ann calls it his best dance, and Bruno tells him he’s proud of him. The scores are straight Nines for 36.
Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson: Foxtrot; “I Won’t Dance” Frank Sinatra
Carrie Ann tells them in the studio she thought they could go make the final even back when they did this style in week one. She works to increase his elegance and fluidity and gets him to start with some solo dancing. That brief interlude up on the stage is mostly just good energy but hints at the elegance that then increases once he joins Witney on the floor, and things get as glamorous as you’d like. “You turned into a man,” Julianne tells him afterward. Len and Bruno do have their quibbles about his frame, though. That keeps their scores down to Nines. But they ladies break out the Tens, so they get 38.
We’ve time for musical interludes tonight. Such as Pitbull and Fifth Harmony coming into the ballroom for the TV debut of their new single “Por Favor.” Sadly, the lady pros that join them on stage are shamefully underused.
Then we get back to some actual dancing:
Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold: Charleston; “Bad Man” Pitbull feat. Robin Thicke, Joe Perry, Travis Barker
Len visits the studio, and asks Jordan & Lindsay mostly to have some actual Charleston in their routine this time because he didn’t see any of it in their last one. They fill half the floor with the audience, hand everyone glowsticks, and then just dance like a Charleston possessed in front of them. It’s crazy moves and crazy energies, and the expressions would be over the top, except that in the Charleston there’s really no such thing. Len is satisfied. Bruno calls them “sharper than a samurai’s sword” while Julianne really waxes poetic. By the time the paddles come up, the perfect 40 they get was pretty much expected.
Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas: Quickstep; “Barflies at the Beach” Royal Crown Revue
Julianne gives them instructions, especially with relation to having Lindsay improve her posture. The routine has a couple of things in common with the last one. It’s quick, high energy, and perfectly done. Less crazy moves and less mania, which is appropriate, even it doesn’t pack quite the full punch of the last dance. It packs enough, though. Besides even with the full speed, there’s a touch of elegance in there. The reaction of the judges is equally enthusiastic. Len, who also likes that it was pure dancing, even uses an American word he doesn’t use too often: awesome. Then they raise straight Tens for the second time tonight.
Our second extra performance of the night is Julianne Hough starring in a dance choreographed by legend Marinda Davis about her getting a terminal illness, with Mark and wife Alexandra Jean singing live. It’s a powerful number, in which the genius of Davis’ moves and everyone’s emotions are on full display.
She’s still alive and in the ballroom to watch it, and Tom even lets her do a little announcing as we move into the freestyle round:
Drew Scott & Emma Slater: Freestyle; “The Ding-Dong Daddy of the D-Car Line” Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
The number is supposed to reflect both him and the journey the two of them took through the season together. She wants his quirks, he wants moves from dances he didn’t do too well. They have an odd premise about him coming into a Ukrainian tea room and inducing everyone in it to dance. But once they’re dancing, they’re dancing well, with tricks that suit him, and entertain further with a random break in the middle! “The house is fixed,” Len tells them, “and you’ve become a hot product.” Except Carrie Ann said they weren’t all quite in sync, and only gives them a Nine. With Tens from the other, they get 39 and total 75.
Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson: Freestyle; “Run Boy, Run” Woodkid
They take a huge risk here, going for a big dramatic routine instead of the comic one we were all expecting. Plus this song is one Bethany Mota & Derek Hough did a very memorable number to a few years back. But Frankie says he trusts Witney, and she makes a routine with which they can make this song their own. And Frankie does, because he can do dramatic too now, and he also can dance now. The judges all praise him for going outside his comfort zone and pulling it off so well. Except for Carrie Ann, she thought he lost a little steam at the end, and Len too only breaks out the Nine; with two Tens they get another 38 and finish with 76.
Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold: Freestyle; “Puttin’ on the Ritz 2017 (Jazzy Radio Mix)” Taco feat. tomX
Lindsay says she wants a “showstopper,” and piles in the choreography, tricks, and lighting effects. The fluff shows rehearsal mishaps to try to get us nervous about him pulling it off. But the moment he starts tripping the light fantastic, it seems unthinkable that this will be anything us than his usual dazzle. Maybe you get a little unsure during the final extended trick, but they pull that off too. All Carrie Ann’s lamenting this time is that we’re only getting two more dances from Jordan. Bruno says he wishes he had an Eleven paddle as they raise the straight Tens to leave them with a perfect 80.
Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas: Freestyle; “Remember the Name” Fort Minor feat. Styles of Beyond/”Palladio” Escala
Mark wants a number that reflects her and comes up with one where they portray crazy conductors. Of the four numbers, it’s the one where the choreography most expresses the story and character. We get Lindsey’s good dancing and personality, plus it builds well, to a perfect reveal of Lindsey getting her hands on her violin. And that’s before she impresses us even further by dancing and even being lifted around by Mark while playing it! There’s plenty of raving from the judges, concluding with Bruno’s clapping and “Bravo, Maestro!” and the night’s fourth set of perfect Tens for another perfect 80.
But will the two couples with the perfect scores make it to tomorrow night? Thankfully when the four couples line up, we aren’t let to get anxious about that long: they’re the first two couples announced as through. That leaves Drew & Emma and Frankie & Witney to see who isn’t. When Frankie & Witney only have three points on them from last week, well, the way things have been going this season, you think that might not be enough…
But it is; Drew & Emma are out. The two of them get sentimental over each other while Drew notes he still can’t believe he made the final anyway. That certainly was accomplishment enough.
Two dances tomorrow, plus an extra voting period. And two teams tied, with the third only four points behind. As Len noted, there’s no telling who’ll win this one.