Previously on Dancing with the Stars: Well, the whole season. Lots of dancing, mostly. After a lot of eliminations (Seriously, Redfoo was on the show this year. It feels like he was eliminated so long ago. I remember men’s fashions being different then. I think lapels were bigger maybe?), we reached the final three with Rumer Willis, Riker Lynch, and Noah Galloway. You did not know any of those names before the season started.

Two of our pairs, Rumer/Val and Riker/Allison ended last night with perfect scores. So logically, those two would be fighting it out for number one. But Noah/Sharna have a lot of voter support. So we’re headed into a finale that’s too close to call. And whoever wins gets that special extra-fancy 10th anniversary golden Mirrorball trophy.

Hey, Tom Bergeron! Did you hear how NBC is going to air Undateable next season? That’s right, every episode is going to be….. LIIIIIIIIIIVVVVVE!!!!!!

We start things off with a big number full of pros and eliminated contestants. I’m such a sucker for these. Make a lot of people dance and I’m on board. We’ve got one more round of competition to go, and let’s be honest, a lot of filler. It’s a two-hour show, after all. As if to prove my point, we start with a recap of last night’s dances with previously unseen footage. Everybody was very nice to Noah after he stumbled in his first dance, especially Val and Tom.

The viewers got to vote for the encore freestyle using Twitter, which seems risky. Based on my Twitter feed, that would mean the video game The Witcher 3 will be performing. Instead, it’s Riker and Allison. This was a fun one, even if I’m not a huge fan of letting the couples have backup dancers. Still, I liked seeing it again.

There’s a filler video about social media. It certainly takes up airtime, you can’t argue with that. And now you now to follow DWTS on Facebook, Twitter, and

Allison and Riker dance again to lead us out of commercial. They’re going to be exhausted by the time they get to the competition round. And then we go to a musical performance from Redfoo. You’re not missing anything. This might actually be one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard. If this “Juicy Wiggle” catches on, we’ll have to burn pop culture to the ground and start over fresh. This leads us into a montage of moments from the first three weeks of competition. I forgot Suzanne Sommers was on the show! Charlotte McKinney performs in a tribute to Katy Perry’s Super Bowl show. But there’s only one shark! How can we have the Left Shark / Right Shark schism?

After the break, last season’s winner Alfonso Ribeiro and second-placer Sadie Robertson dance. And then Tom announces that Alfonso is taking over as the new host of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Hey, good for him! That’s not the hippest gig around, but it seems like it would be fun. From there, Suzanne and Tony dance and the guy singing “Cobacabana” sounds kind of like “Weird Al” Yankovic. I keep expecting hilarious parody lyrics, but they’re nowhere to be found.

Next they do a bad lip reading segment which is kind of funny but completely unnecessary. It goes on way too long, though. After that, Robert and Kym dance and I have to admit they’re pretty cute together. Next, Jason Derulo does a song, and all I know about him is that he did a song for Devious Maids that my local theaters ran for a year in that fake news package they show before the previews. This is also everything I know about Devious Maids, come to think of it. I didn’t know he was actually famous enough to be on TV, so this is very confusing.

Hey, it’s Chris Soule rehasing his Footloose dance. After tonight, I can forget who he is! And that leads us into another montage from the middle weeks of the season. Remember when Julianne had pink hair? We got through that together. Nastia does her subway dance again. There’s a weird fake trailer where Tony is an action star, and it got a laugh out of me. I’m easy.

Willow Shield and Mark do their Alice in Wonderland dance again. And as neat as this has been, we’re coming up to the hour mark and we haven’t had any competitive dances or results. And then there’s a compilation of goofy moments from dress rehearsal. Now a performance from something called “Fifth Harmony”, a “girl group” that’s not really good at singing or dancing. Man, I stop listening to the radio for a decade and pop music just goes straight to hell.

A dance to a live Sia performance. What’s Sia’s deal? Do I need to be aware of her? She seems really gimmicky but has a nice voice. These are my thoughts on Sia.

Another montage! I appreciate all the effort, but I have a Mad Men recap to write and I feel like you’re taking advantage of me. Are we going to see the finalists…. Nope. Patti LaBelle has to dance first. And now… another video package! Eliminated contestants talk about the finalists. Everybody thinks everybody’s great.

Guys? We’re at eighty minutes in and we’re finally getting to the competition.

Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess (36/40) – Everybody’s doing fusion dances for the final round, and they have Cha Cha / Argentine Tango. It’s quite good, but for every amazing thing Noah does (holding Sharna over his head one-handed), there’s a long stretch where he’s not actually moving his feet. I also don’t see a lot of Tango in there, but I’m not an expert.

Len feels like America should give him the Mirrorball after what he “gave to America”. I love you Len, but that’s kind of tacky. Julianne expresses similar sentiments. Bruno talks about him as an inspiration. Carrie Ann thanks them. Nobody mentions the dance at all, but he ends up with a 36. 

Riker Lynch and Allison Holker (40/40) – They’ve got a Salsa/Quickstep, and it’s good. These final round dances are always a little disappointing after we’ve seen the Freestyle, but I like this. I can actually see both dance types, so way to choreograph that dance!

Julianne talks about their dance! She says it looks like they had a week to prepare instead of 24 hours. Bruno calls him an “outstanding talent”. Carrie Ann loves watching him dance. Len calls him “the boy that brings joy” and admits he likes watching him but sometimes doesn’t care for his style. That was confusing. They get a perfect 40.

Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy (40/4) – They’re doing a Foxtrot/paso doble, and I have to wonder what the point is of diluting the paso with other, lesser dances. I really like this one – it’s precise and kinetic and they seem to be having a blast.

Bruno says she’s at the top of her game. Carrie Ann calls him the real deal. I can’t hear that phrase without singing “…with Bill McNeal” to myself. Len says she’s as good as anyone who’s ever been on the show. And Julianne admits they’ve been tough on her, but they just want to push her talent. Erin mentions that they’re tight for time, by the way. Maybe they could have trimmed a montage or two. It’s another perfect 40.

Patti LaBelle performs a song while we wait for our results. And now it’s time to eliminate somebody. The couple in third place is…. Noah and Sharna. He seems like a heck of a guy and he’s inspirational, but the other two couples are really a level beyond him in terms of actual dance, so I’d say this is warranted.

And now, it’s time to announce the winner. Our 10th anniversary champions are… Rumer and Val! I thought I could go either way, but I’m surprised to find out how happy I am about this. Bruce Willis looks so proud!

That’s the season! It was fun and sometimes maddening, and now it’s time to wrap it up until the new season in September. In the meantime, you can check out the Myndi/EJ team recapping Big Brother all summer.   That’ll be fun for everybody, right?

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