Guys, we've officially reached the end zone of Dancing with the Stars: Athletes!
Season 26 passed us by in the blink of an eye (let's never do four week seasons again, it's not enough time!), and before we knew it, it was time to crown a new champion. Adam Rippon, Tonya Harding and Josh Norman all danced their athletic little hearts out, but in the end, only one of them could walk away with that mirrorball.
Your new Dancing with the Stars champ is... Adam Rippon!!
But before that could be announced, there was a whole episode to get through. Read the full recap below!
The dance: You know, I went into this finale thinking I'd be bitter and angry at Tonya Harding for stealing what should obviously have been Mirai Nagasu's spot in the finale, but the more I watched, the more I realized Tonya was totally one of the three top dancers this season, so it's hard to reason that she stole Mirai's spot. If anyone stole the third spot, it's kind of Josh Norman, no?
What the judges said: "You danced it with an elegance and a sophistication, plus you had great control!" Len praised. It's pretty hard to get those notes from him, which just proves Tonya's got the chops. Bruno's comments about a "born again Tonya" were a little much though. Like, sure, she can dance, but let's not pretend that clears the board of all the Nancy Kerrigan stuff, please.
Kind of a low score considering the rave reviews...
The dance: This whimsical little number was perfect for Adam's loud personality, and it also made great use of his natural ice dancing abilities. There were kicks, there were split jumps, there were pirouettes -- it had everything! Most importantly, it was just fun to watch. Adam is obviously the strongest dancer of these three finalists, technically speaking, but he's also just the best entertainer.
What the judges said: "It was so exquisitely theatrical -- it had wit, humor," Bruno praised. The other judges' notes were pretty much gushing too, which is why it's a perfect 10 from all three!
The first perfect score of the season!
Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess- Foxtrot - "Conqueror" by "Empire" cast, featuring Estelle and Jussie Smollett
The dance: It wasn't until Josh mentioned he's been shirtless every week on Dancing with the Stars that I realized why he made it to the finale. Those judges and them voters love a good shirt rip! The hold and the flow of Josh's Foxtrot weren't perfect, but he's been a damn good partner for Sharna through all the holds and lifts, which is also probably a reason he made it this far. He even saved her when she nearly tripped on her skirt tonight!
What the judges said: "It really is a shame this season is so short, because can you imagine this guy doing the Argentine tango?" Bruno joked. "I'm telling you, we were robbed!" Carrie Ann made a similar point that Josh is one of those cases where he goes from an OK dancer to a polished final product over the course of the show, which is why it's a bummer this season was so short.
Sharna's little cheers were adorable!
Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber - "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" by The Pussycat Dolls
The dance: I've finally figured out why Tonya looks so good on this show. She's got rhythm, y'all! It takes some serious skill to do all that synchronized dancing and be able to keep up with troupe members. There was so much going on in this dance (sometimes too much), but when it's your last dance, you go all in. And yeah, entering from the ceiling was pretty damn cool.
What the judges said: The judges 100% agreed that Sasha threw everything but the kitchen sink into this routine, and they actually loved it! Carrie Ann even left her judges booth spot to go give Tonya a HUGE hug. She gave her notes from the dance floor, which was so hard for the cameras to catch, Tom called it a "radio critique."
Another perfect score!
Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess - "Walk on Water" by Thirty Seconds to Mars
The dance: Aaaaand the shirt's gone again. Sharna is in it to win it this week with the choreography because she highlighted all of Josh's strengths (including dem abs) like his physicality, his athleticism and his straight up cool factor with this routine. The audience couldn't stop cheering for him when all was said and done. And hey, it never hurts to drench a shirtless guy is water either.
What the judges said: Josh may have called himself the underdog this week, but Bruno called him the leader of the pack. High praise indeed! Carrie Ann agreed with me about the choreography -- frankly, I should just be a judge at this point, no? -- and even Len was a fan of the water!
Another well deserved perfect score. These dancers are on fire!
Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson - "Scooby Doo Pa Pa" by DJ Kass
The dance: Honestly, everything about this dance screamed Adam Rippon. The wigs, the bedazzled suits, the sheer attitude. It feels like Adam's been waiting all season to get to this freestyle round! Unfortunately, there were some pretty noticeable errors, which the judges no doubt noticed. Still, the performance aspect outweighed the stuff that went wrong, so SHINE, Adam. Shine!
What the judges said: Carrie Ann felt like she was "missing something" and she totally picked up on the synchronicity errors. Len and Bruno ate it up though, so what does it matter what Carrie Ann thinks?
He already got a perfect score in Round 1, so this is fine.
The Winner: For a hot minute, we thought Adam's poor notes in the last round would prevent him from walking away with the Mirrorball, but he pulled it out in the end. THANK GOODNESS!
Dancing with the Stars will return in the fall.