Previously on Dancing with the Stars: The whole season. And somehow reanimated skeleton Bobby Bones went to the finals ahead of Juan Pablo Di Pace, who had a perfect score on his own elimination night. How does a thing like that happen? Is it because America loves Sharna? I’m baffled when somebody is famous for being on the radio because, I mean, other than in the car on your commute, you have infinite listening options that aren’t a corporation deciding what songs you should hear. I mean, have you tried podcasts? Or choosing your own music that you would like to hear? Yeah, that’s right, I’m picking a fight with the entire media of radio. I’ll outlast ’em.
Anyway. There’s a veritable parade coming down the red carpet, including floats and a marching band. The finales of this show are genuinely ridiculous and I love them. Also, I’m very happy for Keo making it to the finals. He has been assigned a series of… let’s just say people without a hope in hell of winning, and it’s nice to see him paired with a real contender.
There’s going to be a lot of filler tonight, and I’m not really going to get too into the video packages unless they’re particularly funny.
The first round is “Most Memorable Dance”.
Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten (27/30) – They’re reprising their “Swan Lake” Argentine Tango from Week Two, and given how much she’s improved, it’s a good idea to go with something she can build on. It’s really lovely this time around. Last time I remember it was competent but her tutu didn’t tear away and she got rattled. Honestly, Alexis hasn’t made much impression on me, but you could make the case that this was one of the best dances of the season and I’d agree with you.
Len says it was terrific and she’s been consistently good. Bruno compares her to a black swan and I feel like that might be inappropriate but I didn’t actually see the movie. It might be cool. Carrie Ann loves how expressive she’s become. It’s a 27.
Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess (24/30) – They’re reprising “U Can’t Touch This” from Trio Night. And if you recall, the original was, well, yikes. They have to change it to a two-person dance, which means there’s one less pretty lady trying to distract from Bobby’s mugging. It’s fine and it’s fun to watch but I’m never a big fan of the dance that’s making fun of a song. Then Bobby gives the judges a show to autograph and I know people like him but none of this feels authentic. It all feels performative.
Bruno calls him a pop idol and it takes me way too long to realize he didn’t say “Popeye doll”. Carrie Ann says he proves that hard work and determination pay off. She also acknowledges that he made a lot of mistakes. Len says he had fun. It’s a 24.
Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe – (30/30) They’re bringing back the Rihanna song from the Halloween episode. Yeah, Tango! If we’re not getting a Paso Doble tonight, both kinds of Tango are a decent consolation prize. This dance was pretty awesome and I like the way they set the stage with backup dancers and then broke away from them. Backup dancers usually seem like they’re there to distract from something, but I think they’re incorporated really well here. I think they’re the couple I’m rooting for because she seems nice and Keo deserves it after those rough years.
Carrie Ann loved it. Len said last time they did this dance he told her to improve her posture and frame, and she did. Bruno says she’s adding something new every week. They improve on their previous near-perfect score with a 30. Then Evanna gets a special video greeting from Emma Watson, who’s so proud of her. I wasn’t sure what Emma Watson had to do with it, so I had to Google. I know so little about Harry Potter, you guys. I’ve read none of the books and seen none of the movies. I saw the first Fantastic Beasts and that was pretty fun, but I won’t see the new one because Johnny Depp is a domestic abuser who got away with it because people like those pirate movies.
Milo Manheim and Witney Carson (30/30) – They’re doing their Week Two Charleston to a Robin Thicke song. Well, that’s all two strikes right there. Oh man, I think that’s actual Robin Thicke there to sing. Gross. This is the subway-themed dance, in case you forgot. The mode of transportation, not the sandwich place. I probably made that joke last time, but I’ve got nothing. I don’t care for the Charleston and the camera parks on Robin Thicke for long stretches so they could be doing anything out there.
Len says they improved and danced an actual Charleston. Bruno says he’s destined for great things. Carrie Ann compliments his mother, Emmy-winning actress Camryn Manheim. (I don’t know for sure that she’s won an Emmy. Let’s say she has.) It’s a 30, which I don’t think any Charleston should achieve.
In an infinite multiverse, there must be an Earth where Nikki Glaser made it as far as Grocery Store Joe did in ours, and that’s a better world than our dumb one.
And now, it’s time for the Freestyle Round!
Alexis and Alan (30/30; 57/60 total) – Avril Lavigne is there to perform in person. Also, they now list Alexis’ occupation as “social influencer”. I don’t care for that one bit. The stage is covered in, boulders, I guess? Freestyles are always hard to explain, but this is maybe somewhere between a Waltz and Contemporary. It has these big dramatic lifts but the stating in between is very traditionally ballroom. I don’t mean that as a bad thing, more to explain what we’re looking at. I like it a lot and Alexis standing on a fake boulder at the end, exhausted and proud of herself is a very cool way to wrap up her time on the show.
Len was worried the song would overwhelm them, but it didn’t. Bruno says they aimed high and it was a difficult dance. Carrie Ann was going to dock them for a misstep but then she was overwhelmed. It’s a perfect 30.
Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess (30/30; 54/60 total) – Oh, no. They’re doing the song from The Greatest Showman but it’s a bad version and Bobby is doing the narration. Apparently this is the Panic! At the Disco version, which seems unnecessary. It’s a big production, which is fun to watch, but that means Bobby gets overwhelmed by everything around him and also it’s a song which already has a production number that we’ve seen. You are no Hugh Jackman, Bobby Bones! There’s a fake ending where the song stops and Bobby says Sharna promised they can “do the thing” and she agrees, so it plays a few more bars and they do that dance that I just learned is called “flossing” because I saw that video where William Jackson Harper tries to teach Ted Danson. Tom and Erin even come out to participate, but Tom is literally flossing. With dental floss. Which is a total dad joke but Tom sells it.
Bruno says it was “the perfect freestyle for a free spirit”. Carrie Ann is freaking out and I can’t quite tell why. Len says Bobby became his champion. They get a 30, and I’m not sold on Bobby, but I do love how happy he is to see those 10s for the first time.
Milo Manheim and Witney Carson (30/30; 60/60 total) – Hey, the second round is in a different order than the first! Are Keo and Evanna planning on literally wrecking the stage so they have to go last? Their dance is crazy from the beginning, with a bunch of men with umbrellas forming a line behind the couple and Milo tears his shirt open moving in stop-motion. Then they take umbrellas and everybody is doing umbrella tricks and Milo slides across the floor and now they are actually standing in water and dancing and splashing around and this was super fun. It was weird, but I liked it a lot.
Carrie Ann’s mouth is just hanging open when they cut to her. She loves it, but that was maybe the funnies transition in 27 seasons of this show. Len loved the variety of talents he displayed tonight. Bruno loved it so much he doesn’t even say anything weird. Guys? I think they might have won this season right now. Of course it’s a 30.
Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe (30/30; 60/60 total) – It starts with women dancing like music box ballerinas around Evanna in a room that keeps getting smaller. Then the tempo changes and she explodes out of the room and finds Keo. The tempo keeps switching up from these quiet ballroom moments to these big Broadway bits and at the end Evanna climbs up on something and gets right in front of the camera to dominate the foreground. It’s not as nuts as Milo and Witney but it’s genuinely great.
Len says it showed off all of her skills and congratulates Keo. Bruno loved the character of the dance. Carrie Ann says she was spectacular. It’s another 30.
OK, it’s time for the results. There’s almost no time left and I’m afraid my DVR is going to change the channels because Manifest is starting and I’m already recording The Little Drummer Girl. The winner is…. Bobby and Sharna? Wait, what?
Wow. Um, that just doesn’t seem right. I mean, everybody else in the finals was honestly spectacular. But Sharna is my favorite pro and Bobby seems nice, if a bit tiresome. This is a headscratcher, quite frankly. But it was a really fun season and a return to form after that rushed mini-season. It was perplexing, but I enjoyed myself this year and darned if this show can’t still win me over after a million seasons.
Thanks for hanging out!