‘Dancing With the Stars’ Finale: Did the Right Couple Take Home the Mirror Ball? (RECAP)
Season 30 • Episode 11
The milestone 30th season of Dancing With the Stars has come to an end with a finale full of familiar faces, heartfelt moments, and the crowning of a new DWTS champion.
The final four couples took to the dance floor for two rounds of competition, starting off with a fusion dance combining two different dance styles. Showcasing their skills one last time, the pairs took on the fan-favorite freestyle routines in the second round, ending the season on a high and happy note for all.
After judge Derek Hough revealed he’d tested positive for a breakthrough COVID-19 following last week’s Semi-Finals, former judge and two-time DWTS champion Julianne Hough returned to the ballroom to fill in for her brother on the judges panel.
Check out tonight’s show-stopping performances and find out which Season 30 couple took home the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy!
Amanda Kloots’ dance to “Never Tear Us Apart” (Viennese Waltz/Paso Doble)
During rehearsals, Amanda Kloots and her partner Alan Bersten looked back on their journey this season. Amanda recalled being nervous driving to the studio to meet her partner but was elated to discover it was Alan. Since starting off the season with sevens across the board, the two went through their fair share of highs and lows, but the payoff earned them a chance at taking home the Mirror Ball trophy. The two combined the Viennese waltz with the paso doble, and Bruno praised their amazing chemistry and passion on the dance floor, stating “You have beauty, talent, and range.” Len compared The Talk host to a total eclipse of the sun — rarely seen, but when it is, it’s beautiful. After more praise from Julianne and a slight critique from Carrie Ann, the two started the night strong with a score of 38 points out of 40.
Cody Rigsby’s dance to “Free Your Mind” (Paso Doble/Cha Cha)
Cody Rigsby called his DWTS journey a “roller coaster of a ride,” and given everything he and partner Cheryl Burke went through, it certainly was. After an exciting first week, COVID-19 complicated the two weeks following, as they had to compete in creative and unique ways. Cody recalled Horror Night as a stepping stone in the right direction on their path to the finale, continuing to improve every week. Starting off the season as a “mission impossible,” Bruno called their first finale dance a “mission accomplished.” Julianne proclaimed that Cody has grown from outside the Peloton community and become “an even bigger fish in a global pond,” while Len told the fitness instructor, “You’ve been brilliant.” With nines across the board, the pair earned 36 going into the second round.
JoJo Siwa’s dance to “I Love It” (Tango/Cha Cha)
Making it to the Season 30 finale is both a happy and sad moment for JoJo Siwa, as she called the competition “the best 10 weeks of my life.” The pop sensation recalled the importance of her and Jenna Johnson’s pairing as the first-ever same-sex couple in DWTS history, wanting to win for “people around the world who are afraid to be themselves.” Jenna felt as though JoJo was hiding a bit of herself at first, but is proud of how much she has grown throughout the season, and the judges certainly agreed. After a stunning tango/cha cha fusion dance, Carrie Ann called the star “a woman transformed,” stating that “she shines so brightly.” Bruno called the routine “perfection,” with Julianne going on to say that JoJo has shown that she is much more than one thing. As Len stated, the two have proved that anyone can dance with anyone as their partner, no matter their gender or identity. The judges’ love translated into their scores, awarding the pair the first perfect score of the night with 40 points.
Iman Shumpert’s dance to “September” (Cha Cha/Foxtrot)
Iman Shumpert made DWTS history as the first NBA champion to make his way to the finale. After meeting his partner Daniella Karagach for the first time, the two realized the struggles their height difference would bring their way, and worked all season on working together as a unit. Despite a rough few weeks, Iman cites Disney Villains night as a turning point, and their perfect score-earning Horror Night routine cementing them as a force to be reckoned with. Looking to add the title of “ballroom dance champion” to his list of victories, the pair took to the floor for their cha cha/foxtrot fusion to the classic hit “September.” The self-proclaimed underdog of the season, Len stated, “Sometimes underdogs bite back, and that’s what you did tonight.” Julianne never saw him as an underdog but was amazed at how he embraced the skills he learned while remaining himself at the same time. “The transformation is complete, king of the ballroom,” Bruno exclaimed, while Carrie Ann stated, “When you dance, I feel joy.” Following in JoJo and Jenna’s footsteps, the couple entered the next round with the second perfect score of the night.
Cody Rigsby’s dance to “Beethoven’s Fifth/Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels (Just Dance Version)” (Freestyle)
After 24 seasons of DWTS, Cheryl said that her time with Cody has become a season she will never forget. They looked back on how much they have grown together, despite building their foundation together over Zoom. Their introverted/extroverted personalities showed viewers just how much opposites attract, with Cody telling his partner, “I couldn’t have done it without you.” As Tyra stated, he “brought the ballroom to the ballroom” with his freestyle dance to Todrick Hall’s “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels.” Letting his “freak flag fly,” Julianne loved watching his true self shine through, with Bruno joking that he started off looking like Jennifer Lopez in the movie Hustlers. Showcasing moves “the ballroom has never seen,” according to Carrie Ann, Len called the performance “wild, wacky, and wonderful.” With a perfect score, their total for the night came out to 76 points out of 80.
Amanda Kloots’ dance to “A Sky Full of Stars” (Freestyle)
Going into their final dance of the season, the couple was sad to have their time as a team come to an end. Amanda is grateful for the bond they have built over the past couple of weeks, as Alan helped her let her guard down after the passing of her husband, opening her heart to close relationships once more. Dancing their freestyle routine to Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars,” the pair wanted to capture what their journey has meant to them, and the judges fell in love with the heartfelt performance. “We’ve seen a star reborn in front of our eyes,” said Bruno, stating that she was “shining brighter than ever.” Carrie Ann called the former Broadway dancer “hope and resilience personified,” with Len simply calling the routine “wonderful.” To top it off, Julianne commented, “There is a whole universe inside of you, and this is just the beginning.” With a perfect score of 40 points, their total for the night came out to 78 total.
JoJo Siwa’s dance to “Born This Way” (Freestyle)
Rehearsing for their final dance of the season, JoJo proclaimed how much this experience has changed her as a person, and she owes it all to Jenna. Calling her a sister and best friend, Jenna knows their strong bond will last forever. Dancing to “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, JoJo looked to make more DWTS history as the first same-sex couple to win the competition. Calling the performance “beyond amazing,” Carrie Ann stated that she feels as though the future is in safe hands with a role model like JoJo at the forefront. Bruno added to her comment, wishing he had someone like her to look up to growing up, sentimentally stating that it would have made things better for him and so many others. Len called the pair a “standout couple,” with Julianne declaring that she has officially become a “Siwanator.” Earning another score of 40, the pair ended their journey with a perfect 80 points.
Iman Shumpert’s dance to “Lose Control/Bounce” (Freestyle)
Iman was sad to be ending his dancing journey with Daniella, as she stated that he has had her back from day 1. Their relationship was built on laughter and trust, with Iman saying Daniella was the best coach he could have asked for. Going into their freestyle to “Lose Control” by Missy Elliot and “Bounce” by DJ Clent, the pair wanted to end their time together by giving the judges and viewers a “good show.” Bruno was blown away by the pair’s “a-ma-zing” footwork, while Carrie Ann loved how he showcased Daniella, letting her shine just as much as him. Clearly, Julianne loved Iman as much as Derek, as she declared the dance as her favorite freestyle routine in the show’s history. They ended the night with another perfect score, tying with JoJo and Jenna at the top of the leaderboard with 80 points.
And the winner is…
Before Tyra announced the Season 30 champions, the finalists were surprised with a touching video package from their friends and family wishing them the best of luck. Then it was time for the results! Amanda and Alan placed fourth with Cody and Cheryl following in third, leaving Iman and Daniella and JoJo and Jenna in the final two. Either couple’s win would make DWTS history (first same-sex pair, first NBA player), making for one of the most exciting finales to date. With the credits beginning to roll and anticipation high, Tyra officially crowned Iman and Daniella as the Season 30 champs, making him the first NBA player to ever win the competition!