‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 31 Finale: Did the Right Couple Win the Mirror Ball? (RECAP)

Dancing With the Stars Season 31 finale
Spoiler Alert

Dancing With the Stars


Season 31 • Episode 11

rating: 4.5 stars

The coveted mirror ball trophy was on the line in the November 21 Dancing With the Stars finale, and after more than 10 weeks of competition, the Dancing With the Stars Season 31 winner has been crowned. The episode, hosted by Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro, aired live on Disney+, and it featured a night of memorable performances from more than just the finalists.

The finale marked the last episode before retirement for both head judge Len Goodman and ballroom dance pro Cheryl Burke. Burke performed a final dance with two of her favorite pro partners to commemorate her time on the series, but she hopes to return as a judge in Goodman’s place (and perhaps one of Goodman’s longtime co-judges, Carrie Ann Inaba or Bruno Tonioli, will be promoted to head judge?). To bid Goodman a fond farewell, the show gifted the ballroom legend with his very own mirror ball trophy and a video tribute from past contestants.

The eliminated Season 31 cast returned for one last performance with their partners, and Selma Blair performed the contemporary number she never got to dance due to health complications. She and Sasha Farber danced to Jordin Sparks‘ “No Air,” performed live by the singer.

As for the final four — Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas, Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy, Wayne Brady and Witney Carson, and Shangela and Gleb Savchenko — they performed two dances: a Redemption Round and a Freestyle Round. Each couple was paired with one of the four judges and given strict notes about how to improve on a dance from earlier this season.

Here’s what each couple performed for the Redemption Round, plus their scores.

Redemption Round

Charli D’Amelio & Mark Ballas: Paired with Judge Carrie Ann Inaba, Jive to “Grown” by Little Mix; 40/40

Gabby Windey & Val Chmerkovskiy: Paired with Judge Derek Hough, Cha Cha to “I Like It (Like That)” by Pete Rodriguez; 40/40

Wayne Brady & Witney Carson: Paired with Judge Len Goodman, Quickstep to “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson; 36/40

Shangela & Gleb Savchenko: Paired with Judge Bruno Tonioli, Quickstep to “Queen Bee” by Rochelle Diamante; 36/40

For the pivotal Freestyle Round, Goodman told the cameras it was the round that would “make or break” the winner. And in their last chance to dance, the final four pairs pulled out all the stops.

Wayne and Witney pulled together a Super Bowl Halftime Show-style performance for their Freestyle. Charli and Mark rekindled their love of dance with a number combining all the different dance styles from this season. Gabby and Val performed Broadway-style number to show her star quality. And Shangela shut the house down with a drag and dance performance that saw Gleb perform in full drag. The drag queen’s number was the last of the season, and therefore Goodman’s last he would ever vote for. Her performance was so “mesmerizing,” he said, he forgot to vote before the number was up — a series first for the judge.

Here’s what each couple performed for their very last dances on Dancing With the Stars Season 31, plus where they fell on the leaderboard.

Freestyle Round

Charli D’Amelio & Mark Ballas: Freestyle to “Us Again” by Pinar Toprak; 40/40

Gabby Windey & Val Chmerkovskiy: Freestyle to “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago; 40/40

Wayne Brady & Witney Carson: Freestyle to “Get Up / 24K Magic” by Ciara ft. Chamillionaire / Bruno Mars; 40/40

Shangela & Gleb Savchenko: Freestyle to “Survivor / Call Me Mother” by Destiny’s Child / RuPaul; 40/40

With their final dances complete, here’s the final leaderboard:

Final Leaderboard

Charli D’Amelio & Mark Ballas: 80/80

Gabby Windey & Val Chmerkovskiy: 80/80

Wayne Brady & Witney Carson: 76/80

Shangela & Gleb Savchenko: 76/80

Before the winner was announced, Banks and Ribeiro announced Gabby would be joining the Dancing With the Stars tour on all stops. Charli will join for select performances, as will Heidi D’Amelio, Daniel Durant, and Vinny Guadagnino.

Finally, the moment of truth came. In fourth place was Shangela and Gleb. In third place was Wayne and Witney. In second place was Gabby and Val, making Charli and Mark the winners of Season 31 — Mark’s third win!

What did you think of the high-energy finale?

Dancing With the Stars, Season 31, Streaming Now, Disney+