The season 24 finale of Dancing With the Stars aired tonight and there were just three finalists left in the mix. MLB player David Ross, NFL player Rashad Jennings and Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei. So, which one of them won tonight?
The winner is … Rashad Jennings.
Before finding out this season’s winner, the couple in third place was revealed to be Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy, and the judges were shocked. Even the ballroom guests started to boo at the results. Co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews both stated that they had no words and were absolutely surprised by the elimination.
Kicking off the show with a big musical number, the finalists geared up for two-and-a-half hours of excitement, reflection and performance. Former contestants from this season also showed up to participate in the event. Some even delivered choreographed dances. For example, pro Witney Carson choreographed a girls’ dance that cast-off Heather Morris performed alongside several of the pro women dancers and troupe members. Then, other former contestants performed some of our favorite routines from throughout the season. Bonner Bolton teamed up with Sharna Burgess to perform their very first routine, which was cowboy-themed. And, finalist David Ross gave the ladies at home some excitement by performing his Magic Mike routine again. Another amazing routine that was revisited was Sasha Farber and gymnast Simone Biles’ Moana dance.
Rashad Jennings performed one of his recent dances, to Bruno Mars’ song “24 Karat” and Normani Kordei performed a fan-favorite Salsa routine, surrounded by male dancers who were dressed like construction workers. What was really cute was when judge Len Goodman surprised the audience as a construction worker, as did judge Bruno Tonioli, who ripped off his shirt. T-Boz and Chili from TLC showed up for a performance, along with several other big artists like Hailee Steinfeld. Steinfeld took the opportunity to perform her latest single “Most Girls.” OneRepublic also came aboard to perform their song “No Vacancy,” with pros Sharna Burgess and Gleb Savchenko performing a dance routine to the music. Lady Antebellum performed as well.
Then, to give viewers a preview of tomorrow’s musical adaptation of Dirty Dancing, former DWTS champion Nicole Scherzinger and newcomer Colt Prattes, who stars as Johnny Castle in the project, showed up to deliver a routine from the movie.
Almost two hours into the show, viewers finally got to see the 24-hour fusion dances. Lindsay Arnold and David Ross were the first ones to perform and the two of them were crying, sad that they were going to miss each other. Their fusion was a Foxtrot and Salsa mixture of a routine, high in energy. Judge Len Goodman said that the routine was a proper fusion dance and he gave praise to Arnold for her choreography. For their final round of scores, the duo received all 9’s, with a total of 36 out of 40.
Next up was pro Val Chmerkovskiy with Normani Kordei and their fusion dance was a Fox Trot and Argentine Tango routine. Kordei said that she feels like she discovered herself on this show and she cried, upset to leave Chmerkovskiy. The two then proceeded to deliver a very sexy and spot-on performance. After their routine, the judges gushed over them and judge Bruno Tonioli couldn’t get enough. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba echoed Tonioli, saying that Kordei was “born to dance.” Their score for the routine was a perfect 40 out of 40.
Lastly, Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater performed and danced a fusion routine of Cha-Cha and the Tango. Both were very emotional and Slater cried, saying that she didn’t know if she’ll get this chance and connection with another contestant on the show in the future. Judge Tonioli said that watching Jennings over the course of the season was like “watching a rising star.” He said that Jennings is very charismatic as a performer. Judge Julianne Hough exclaimed that this performance was a great way to end and celebrate the season. For his scores on his last performance, the judges gave him a 39 out of 40.
Before the final results were revealed, OneRepublic returned to perform another song. And then we got to hear who became this season’s winner.
If you haven’t gotten enough of Dancing With the Stars, cast members will take off for their dance tour this summer and it’s not too late to buy tickets online. Otherwise, you can just wait until September 2017 for season 25. And, contestant Rashad Jennings will be joining the cast as a member of the tour this summer, so you’ll be able to see him dance again.