It was a “war on the floor” in the “Dancing With the Stars” finale Monday night, according to judge Len Goodman.
During the reality TV show’s finale, the four remaining celebrity competitors and their partners danced two numbers: a redemption dance and a freestyle dance.
Two couples — Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas as well as Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold — ended the night with perfect scores. Actor Frankie Muniz and his partner Witney Carson earned a 76 out of 80, securing the final spot in the last night of the competition. At the end of the night, it was HGTV’s “Property Brothers” Drew Scott and Emma Slater — who earned a 75 out of 80 — who concluded their journey one night shy of crowning the Mirror Ball trophy winner.
For two weeks, Stirling and Ballas have been traveling across the United States for Stirling’s Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour. Stirling said the busy schedule has meant the duo hasn’t been rehearsing until 3 a.m.
In the redemption dance, the judges assigned Stirling the quickstep. Stirling first danced the quickstep, earning a 21 out of 30, in the second week of the competition.
Despite being on the other side of the country, judge Julianne Hough video called the couple during a rehearsal to provide Stirling tips on how to improve her dance, which included fixing her frame.
“She has the performance. She has that creativity. Now it’s time to incorporate that technique,” Hough said.
And the tips helped. Stirling and Ballas earned a perfect score.
“To me, I really do believe that you are the most improved,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba told Stirling. “Truly, there’s something so magical about what I’m seeing tonight.”
For the second round, Stirling and Ballas performed a no-rules-attached freestyle routine. “Freestyle should be your brand or your mark,” Ballas told Stirling.
Ballas choreographed a routine to encapsulate Stirling’s quirkiness and even brought her violin into the routine.
“Mark is such an amazing partner and he’s done this 19 seasons and he’s only won twice. I’m going to get emotional but I really want to win this for him,” Stirling said in a video before the performance. “I want to win it for myself too. I want to live up to what Mark Ballas has done. That’s a lot of pressure. I’m going to put all the cards on the table and not hold anything back.”
Following the performance, the crowd cheered well into the judges comments.
“No one cares what any of us have to say,” Inaba said. “What is so incredible is it couldn’t have been a better showcase of your incredible uniqueness.”
Stirling celebrated her success and applauded the other competitors on social media following the show Monday night.
“Tonight was amazing!!!” Stirling wrote on Facebook. “More than anything I wanted everyone to do their best. Each couple has worked so incredibly hard and we all deserved to nail those routines. Well, I think all of us danced the best we’ve ever danced and I couldn’t be happier … for everyone. Congrats to all my #dwts family.”
“Dancing With the Stars” will award the Mirror Ball trophy winner on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. MDT. The finale airs on ABC.