Dancing with the Stars, Season 25, Week 10, Finals, Night 2
In the end, it came down to two perfect scoring best two couples of the season.
Twas the night before the Finale…well, no, it is the last night, and we open with Len in a Santa outfit reading that to the finalists. Then it’s out of his cottage for some proper Dancing in the Street right outside the Grove. Then it’s time for the three couples and Tom to board the sleigh-buggy back to the ballroom. With two final rounds and a voting period during the episode we’ve got to start immediately. For the first round, each couple redoes their favorite dance from the season, preceded from by biographical segments, in front of only the normal trio of judges:
Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas: Jive; “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” Wham!
This was their week 3 dance, which they got straight Nines on. Lindsey talks about all the struggles she went through before she finally made it, including anorexia and depression in college. It’s a story that ends in triumph, and lends an air of that do the expression of pure joy that this jive is. “That was a jive!” Len exclaims, and the judges praise both dance and her in general. Scores go up to Tens, and they take 30 and got up to 110.
Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson: Argentine Tango; “Angelica” Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
In contrast to Lindsey, Frankie had the acting career pretty easily, but he hit an emotional crisis when he had an accident in 2009 and couldn’t drive anymore. And it seemed being on this show got him out of it; he gets very choked up as he talks about it. Then he and Witney redo their number from week 5’s Disney night, and this time her heel doesn’t get caught in her skirt. The judges praise his improved technique too, and he too gets straight Tens, up from 29, and goes up to 106.
They interrupted the first round for the first filler number. Country singer Kelsey Ballerini takes to the floor to perform her new single, “Legends.” It’s a good song for dancing to, and Jenna Johnson & Val Chmerkovskiy elevate it up a level.
Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Stirling: Samba; “Mi Gente” J Balvin & Willy William
They redo the second of their week one numbers, which last time got them straight Eights. It’s weird now to think of them scoring so low. The fluff is sappy, with encouraging messages from his family and Lin-Manual Miranda. The dance is one he now can do even better than he did back during that first week, as Carrie Ann notes. Bruno sums him up, talking about how hypnotic he is when he dances. Of course it’s another set of straight Tens and 110 total.
We get some more filler before the second round:
- Derek Fisher & Sharna Burgess force us to endure that awful song they did their first dance to.
- The male pros do their regular barechested number at the Grove. Santa hats are okay, but the mix of “The Little Drummer Boy” is weird. Oh, and Len puts the Santa outfit back on and joins them for the opening of the number. (He removes himself before the chests get bared and the dancing really begins.)
- Vanessa Lachey & Maksim Chmerkovskiy redo their Hollywood musicals tribute.
- Lindsey Stirling gets back to the Grove and joins Becky G in performing their new number, “Christmas, Come On,” and then, while playing her violin and in a crazy cartoonish outfit, she goes onto the floor and steals the show from the pros who were accompanying them!
- Next at the Grove, Debbie Gibson sings “Sleigh Ride” and mostly leaves the dancing to those better at it, though Alan Bersten does take her out for a turn towards the end. The Jordan also does a Christmas number, and he reminds us how he’s a brilliant singer too.
- We see a piece at the cast making their visit to LA’s Children’s Hospital, meeting kids, shaking hands, and doing a little performing. The moment when Victoria Arlen commiserates with one of the patients is a good one.
- Another Grove group number to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
- Both Drew & Jonathan Scott take Emma Slater out on the dance floor to reprise their Most Memorable Year jive.
Comments from Len on the three, and then, finally, the 24 Hour Fusion Dances the last three couples prepared overnight:
Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas: Cha Cha Cha/Tango; “Hot2Touch” Felix Jaehn feat. Hight & Alex Aiono
These are two very disparate styles. But they don’t seem that way when Mark finds a way to combine them into a routine where you recognize both, but they form a whole of their own. Lindsey helps embody it in her dancing, nailing both the moves and infusing it with her own presence. “Beyond fusion, that was alchemy,” Carrie Ann says, and the other two praise Mark’s work too. It’s a last set of Tens, and they now have a perfect 140.
Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson: Foxtrot/Tango; “Without You” Avicii feat. Sandro Cavazza
Frankie once again gets emotional in the fluff, which increases the feeling of joy this routine carries. There’s a little too much fog and you can’t always see what his feet are doing, but who cares? Carrie Ann doesn’t, as she and Len talk about how he’s what this show’s supposed to be about, and when Len gets critical, she tries to lead off the chorus of boos! But Bruno too notes it wasn’t perfect, and he and Len only give it Nines. Carrie Ann gives it a Ten, so they get 28 and go up to 134.
Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold: Salsa/Paso Doble; “Kill the Lights” Alex Newell, Jess Glynne, & DJ Cassidy with Nile Rodgers
Lindsay wants this to reflect their season and friendship, and she splits the routines up, with a costume change. Both rhythms are ones Jordan can do with an energy and emphasis no one else can quite match, and the two of them throw in a couple of extra tricks too. Len declares he’s the best male celebrity the show’s had, Bruno agrees, and Carrie Ann notes he’s caused Lindsay to grow. Then they too get three more tens and a perfect 140.
The extra round of voting is a short one, done online during the commercial break, while Maks drive Jordan, Lindsay, and Tom back to the Grove for the final announcement. Nick Lachey gets the honor of singing over the final montage, and he even wrote a song inspired by his own experiences on the show. He debuts “Someone to Dance With,” and it’s certainly a song that suits these purposes.
Next is the announcement of third place. Frankie & Witney are now six points behind. If they’re not in third now, there’s a good chance they’ve won…but they are. A final round of applause for them for defying all expectations.
But we’re down to the two couples that took the lead together on the very first night and have been the best two all season. They’ve both got perfect scores. And there’s no telling which one of them got more votes. Jordan & Lindsay were that little bit better, but will they win?
THEY DO! It’s Lindsay’s first ever trophy, and they have an emotional reaction when it’s announced. But that’s all we get, because they didn’t do good enough time management tonight to have more than thirty seconds left, not enough to pull anyone aside for interviews. We just see them get lifted while holding the Mirrorball up, with everyone getting covered with silver streamers.
Except there is time for Tom to mention one more thing: next season is apparently going to be all athletes! That could either really work or get repetitive, probably depending on what sports or even what athletes they go to. One assumes there’ll be a football player and a gymnast if they can get them, as well as some names from the upcoming Olympics.
(Be a smart idea to get a figure skater, obviously. I could come up with some suggestions…)