It's all over! Dancing with the Stars said goodbye to Season 23 with a two-hour Tuesday special loaded with live performances (Vanilla Ice is back, baby, and he brought Incredibly Vanilla Rick Perry with him!), visits from past contestants, shirtless men everywhere, clips, clips, and more clips and more padding from the Dancing with the Stars dance troupe to promote the live tour, coming to medium-sized arena near you.
But that was all filler compared to the real event, the crowning of this year's champion. Would it be Laurie and Val, the heavy favorites? Could James and Sharna sneak in there on the weight of James' perfectly aligned shoulders? Or could Calvin and Lindsay bubble their way to the top with one of the biggest surprises in the show's history? This is why we watch, people!
Let's review the dances and reveal the big winner of the night. To the recap!
The dance: An understated dance between Sharna and James felt more like a love letter to each other than a final shot at the championship, but with just 24 hours to prepare for the dance, the personal touch was awfully nice. And just because it wasn't filled with leaps and twirls, it doesn't mean it wasn't good. Smooth as a baby's bum, James continued to show why he belongs here in the finals.
What the judges said: "I wish I could dance like you," Len. Bruno called James a class act and said he was so in tune with Sharna. Carrie Ann said she's never seen three more qualified finalists, and she's just hoping the judges get it right.
The score: 40/40!
The dance: A lot more energetic than James and Sharna's routine, this fun number was the perfect encapsulation of Lindsay and Calvin's personality, and quite impressive for just 24 hours notice. Quicksteppin', prancin', a between the legs dipsy doo, this was everything Calvin and Lindsay have been doing all year boiled down to just a few minutes (minus a few impressive Lindsay launches).
What the judges said: Julianne called it the perfect fusion dance, and Bruno said Calvin was so great because he makes people happy. Carrie Ann even said she chilled out on her lift policing. "Tutti frutti, what a beauty," said Len. Yo Len, when does your next mixtape drop?
The score: 40/40! It's the finals!
The dance: Surprise, surprise. Laurie and Val came out and put on a dance that would take most human beings a whole week to prepare for. Val spun Laurie along the Y-axis (I don't know dancing terms, just math, sorry!) in his arms, and we hadn't seen that all season, I don't believe! But still, Laurie hit her spots with all the professionalism of a pro, and it's no surprise that she's joining the Dancing with the Stars live tour. Now it's worth getting a ticket for!
What the judges said: Carrie Ann said this was her best dance of the competition and nearly cried because she was so sad she wouldn't see Laurie anymore. Fabulous, said Len.
The score: 40/40. Everyone gets a perfecto! Bravo!
All good things must come to an end, and when it was all over, it was Laurie and Val holding the Mirrorball trophy. You can't complain about that -- she's been on top from the very beginning, and held her position by delivering every single week. Calvin and Lindsay took third place, and James and Sharna finished second. I don't know about you, but I think things went exactly right. Where does Laurie fit in the all-time Dancing with the Stars competitors? Was this one of the most competitive final trios ever?