Previously on Dancing with the Stars: I don’t know how to tell you this, but an entire season happened. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to catch up. After a night of really strong dancing and some fun freestyles, Property Brother Drew Scott was eliminated after lasting longer than anybody expected. And in all fairness, I was as surprised as anybody that he made the finals, but he did a terrific job last night. So now we’re down to Jordan Fisher, Frankie Muniz, and Lindsey Stirling, and that Mirrorball is looking for a new home.          

We’ve got a two-hour show and each couple will dance twice, so that’s a solid hour-plus of filler. I’m not going to recap every beat of that unless they do something especially interesting. I really enjoy the finales, but with all the montages and musical numbers, they don’t leave me with a whole lot to say. Like “Hey, that funny thing that happened earlier this season is still kind of funny when we see it again.”

It opens with a fun group number that is loosely holiday themed and set to “Dancing in the Street”, which is not about any sort of holiday. Also, who remembered that Barbara Corcoran was on this season? That seems so long ago, doesn’t it? Anyway, first off there’s a quick recap of last night’s dances, reminding us that everybody did very well.

After some ads and a dance to “Deck the Halls” performed by sexy bellhops, we get a video package about Lindsey Stirling. These are always tough because they’re well-made and sometimes even interesting, but Lindsey’s talking about how her faith helped with an eating disorder and I’m not going to sit and goof on actual meaningful things. However, I’ll note that they show a clip of her on America’s Got Talent years ago and the judges were super mean. This leads into a new performance of her favorite dance of the season – the pajama Jive from Guilty Pleasures week. And apparently this is going to be a scored dance. It always feels like they’re doing the finale differently then the way they did it last time. They get a 30.

Next we get the Frankie Muniz retrospective and it really jumps out at you that apparently they couldn’t clear any clips from Malcolm in the Middle, because they brush by that part of his career (read: the entirety of it) as quickly as they can. They do their Argentine Tango from Disney Night. It’s another 30. I assume all the favorites are going to end up with perfect scores. This is just a victory lap, really.

There’s a musical performance by somebody I don’t know and whose name doesn’t make sense to me. Then we learn about Jordan Fisher and nothing is funnier to me than a twenty-three-year-old talking about how tough things were when he didn’t immediately start off with a successful career. Kid, you don’t know from hard times. He still seems nice, though. He does his Samba from the second night of performances, which I didn’t think really stood out in any way but it’s very good now that he’s got some more experience under his belt. It’s another 30, so this round should have no statistical effect on the outcome.

And now it’s a montage of moments from the first three weeks of the season. Then Derek Fisher and Sharna Burgess perform their basketball dance. Hi, Sharna! I missed you! Then the males pros and troupe members strip to “Little Drummer Boy”. I mean, it sort of morphs into another song, but it’s still super weird. And then it’s another montage, this one of the middle of the season. Vanessa Lachey and Maks Chmerkovskiy dance and there’s nary a word about Maks taking a week off, reportedly because he just couldn’t deal with her.

Lindsey performs the violin for a pro number, and then Debbie Gibson sings while Jordan dances with Nikki Bella. That is not something I expected to type. Man, they are really displaying a commitment to make Christmas sexy. There’s a nice segment about the cast visiting a children’s hospital, but not Childrens Hospital. Then we get another group number with seemingly random pairings.

And now, a montage of the last third of the season. You know, the stuff you still remember. Drew and Emma get one last dance to “Don’t Stop Me Know” and I am reminded that there is a shocking amount of Queen lyrics right at the forefront of my brain.

Finally, it’s time for the Fusion dances.

Lindsey and Mark have a Cha Cha / Tango, and every year I’m always taken aback that “24 Hour Fusion” means they have 24 hours to create the dance and not that they have to dance for 24 hours straight. I mean, that’s not practical, but still… I really like it – so often the Fusion comes in the form of separate sections of the dance, but there are Cha Cha elements in the Tango, which makes every extension really fun. It’s a clever and well done dance. And it’s a perfect 30.

Next up, it’s Frankie and Witney. They’re going to merge a Foxtrot and Tango. If they just had some whiskey, I think they could summon Marc Maron. (That joke was really tortured and I hate myself for it.) I don’t see as much Foxtrot as I’d like, but I’ll also admit that’s one of the dances that’s still kind of tough for me to recognize. Len agrees with me, so maybe I have a point. It’s a 28.

Finally, it’s Jordan and Lindsay. They’ll be melding a Salsa with a Paso Doble. Rad! It’s very good – there are clearly identifiable Salsa moves that turn into Paso moves and there’s even room to get a little silly. I really liked watching this one and it’s over too soon. Perfect 30.

And now, after all that, it’s time to name the winner. Third place is… Frankie and Witney. That makes sense. The other two couples had perfect scores over the last two nights and being just a couple of points off from that is a big deal.

And the winners are…. Jordan and Lindsay! I would have been happy with either couple, quite frankly. But man, Myndi called it before the season even started. They flat out run out of time, so the winning couple doesn’t even get to talk. Tom quickly announces a special four-week all athlete addition of DWTS and I’m not clear on whether that’s in place of or in addition to the spring season. But none of that matters because we have a winner, the season is over, and it’s time to nap.

See you next year! Or tomorrow, really. We cover other shows here, you know.

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