‘Dancing with the Stars’ finale: Bindi Irwin & Derek Hough make history as season 21 champs

dancing with the stars dwts bindi irwin derek hough

The “Dancing With the Stars” season finale featured encore performances by many past contestants as well as musical numbers by Chaka Khan and Andy Grammer and a 24-Hour Fusion Challenge in which the final three teams danced for points for the very last time, but of course the main event was the crowning of the mirror ball champion.

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After eight times on top of the judges’ leaderboard (nine if you count her perfect score in the Fusion Challenge), Bindi Irwin took the season 21 title as the vast majority of our users predicted. She had been leading our predictions since week two of the competition, but by the time our predictions closed for Tuesday night’s finale, an overwhelming 84% of us were betting on her to prevail, giving her odds of 1/5.

Her win was historic in a couple of ways. At age 17, Irwin is now one of the youngest champs in the show’s history — the second youngest champ, to be exact. She’s just three days older than gymnast Shawn Johnson was when she won season eight back in 2009. Irwin’s victory also brought Derek Hough his sixth title as a pro dancer, extending his record as the show’s most awarded pro.

The rest of the results weren’t surprising either. Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter finished second as 69% of us predicted (4/9 odds). He and Irwin also tied for the top score in the Fusion Challenge, so a combined 96% of users got that question right too.

Alek Skarlatos finished third, which 76% of users anticipated (3/10 odds). He also got the lowest score in the Fusion Challenge as 86% of users predicted (2/13 odds). Even the judges seemed to agree with that outcome since he’s the only finalist who didn’t get a single perfect score during the two-night finale.

Actually, Skarlatos significantly outlasted his judges’ scores for the entire season. Excluding guest judges and extra points from dance-offs, he had only the sixth highest average of the season, behind Tamar Braxton with the fifth highest average (she withdrew in fifth place due to illness), Alexa PenaVega with the fourth highest (she was eliminated in sixth place) and Carlos PenaVega with the third highest (he finished fourth on Monday night).

Since there were no major surprises in the finale, an impressive 27 of us scored 100% predicting Tuesday’s show. Out of all those, Jason Nolette had the highest overall points total (5,200) and thus takes the top spot on our predictions leaderboard.

How did he pull off that high score? By placing 500 points on Irwin’s high score at a point when that result had 2/1 odds, which gave him a massive 1,000-point payout. He also got 2,200 points by predicting Irwin would win the title; users received 200 points for every consecutive week they predicted the winner, which means Nolette had been predicting Irwin from almost the very beginning of the season. Click the chart below for this week’s complete results:

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There were no major shakeups on our overall leaderboard for the entire season. WiltedYouth had led our predictions for weeks thanks to his consistent forecasts and scored 100% predicting Tuesday night’s finale, securing him the top spot with an overall accuracy rate of 74% (28 out of 38 correct). Denton Davidson took second with 61% (23 out of 38). The night’s top scorer Jason Nolette finished third overall with 58% (22 out of 38).

What did you think of Tuesday night’s finale? Did Bindi Irwin deserve to win? Is she one of the show’s best ever champs? Or was one of her rivals robbed? Discuss that and more in our reality TV forums.

Photos: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough win “Dancing with the Stars.” Credit: ABC

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