‘Dancing with the Stars’ rankings: Who had the best redemption & freestyle dances during finals? [POLL]

We’re now in the final nights of “Dancing with the Stars” season 24. On Monday night Normani Kordei, David Ross, and Rashad Jennings each danced twice in the hopes of garnering enough support from the judges and viewers to take home the Mirror Ball Trophy. The first routine was a redemption dance in which the stars hoped to improve on a dance style they previously performed in the competition. Then came the always-popular freestyle where all bets are off. As an avid viewer of “DWTS,” I can attest that the freestyle has been the deciding factor in determining the winner in many a season. If that holds true this season, then I think Jennings and his pro partner Emma Slater will be the new champions of “Dancing With the Stars.”

But who really performed the best during the finals? Check out my rankings and analysis below, and then vote in our poll at the bottom of this post to decide who you think was the best.

Redemption Round

1. Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater (Viennese Waltz)

Song: “Dark Times” by The Weekend feat. Ed Sheeran — Given his strong performances up to this point, it was surprising that Jennings seemed shocked to make it this far in the competition. But as usual he has the swagger down. This dance was smooth with a huge improvement in his footwork. He is definitely in it to win it. It figures he would get his first perfect score in the last week of the competition.

My Pre-Show Predictions: 10 (Carrie Ann Inaba), 9 (Len Goodman), 10 (Julianne Hough), 19 ( Bruno Tonioli) = 38

Actual Scores: 10 (Inaba), 10 (Goodman), 10 (Hough), 10 (Tonioli) = 40

2. Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy (Quickstep)

Song: “Check It Out” by Oh the Larceny — Kordei and Chmerkovskiy had a bit of a scare when Kordei twisted her ankle while training, but it ultimately didn’t affect their performance. Their redemption dance was a quickstep. The last time they performed it in the season premiere episode, they lacked body contact and the appropriate footwork. This time around they definitely improved on their footwork with faster steps. However, they once again lacked body contact and didn’t stay in hold throughout the dance, so I knew Goodman was going to dock them a point.

My Pre-Show Predictions: 10 (Inaba), 10 (Goodman), 10 (Hough), 10 (Tonioli) = 40

Actual Scores: 10 (Inaba), 9 (Goodman), 9 (Hough), 10 (Tonioli) = 38

3. David Ross & Lindsay Arnold (Viennese Waltz)

Song: “Let’s Hurt Tonight” by One Republic — Ross and Arnold were shocked to be in the finals after last week’s surprise elimination of Simone Biles, so they came into Monday night’s show with a lot to prove. their redemption dance was a Viennese waltz. As I mentioned in my dance preview, there wasn’t much to actually improve on from the first time he danced this. I’m still not sure why this was his redemption dance. It wasn’t anything spectacular.

My Pre-Show Predictions: 9 (Inaba), 8 (Goodman), 9 (Hough), 8 (Tonioli) = 34

Actual Score: 8 (Inaba), 8 (Goodman), 9 (Hough), 8 (Tonioli) = 33

‘Dancing with the Stars’: Top 10 Best Dances of Season 24

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Freestyle Round

1. Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater

Song: “Let’s Go”/”Uptown Funk” (Medley) from “Drumline”/Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars — Jennings added some of his own choreography for the drum-line segment of their freestyle. Slater, who has never won “DWTS,” wanted to make Jennings proud, and she ended up putting together a routine that might’ve just won them the Mirror Ball Trophy. It was full of energy and excitement, and reminiscent of past freestyles that sealed the deal. Here’s your winner for season 24!

My Pre-Show Predictions: 10 (Inaba), 10 (Goodman), 10 (Hough), 10 (Tonioli) = 40

Actual Scores: 10 (Inaba), 10 (Goodman), 10 (Hough), 10 (Tonioli) = 40

2. Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy

Song: “What the World Needs Now is Love” by Andra Day — Chmerkovskiy wanted to create a freestyle that showed Kordei’s journey, and it turned out to be a beautiful routine. Regardless of whether she wins, I’m glad that as a viewer I was able to see her come out of her shell and create a series of memorable routines. It was obvious that she would get a perfect score for this since Ross had just received a perfect score for his less technically proficient dance.

My Pre-Show Predictions: 10 (Inaba), 10 (Goodman), 10 (Hough), 10 (Tonioli) = 40

Actual Scores: 10 (Inaba), 10 (Goodman), 10 (Hough), 10 (Tonioli) = 40

3. David Ross & Lindsay Arnold

Song: “It Takes Two”/”Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (Medley) by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock/Ronnie Neuman — Ross realizes that it was his fans who got him this far in the competition, so Arnold choreographed a freestyle that showed off Ross’s fun-loving side. As usual, he was his entertaining-yet-awkward self. I loved the baseball theme and thought it was a fun dance, aside from Ross’s stiff movements throughout. A perfect 40 for this?

My Pre-Show Predictions: 9 (Inaba), 9 (Goodman), 10 (Hough), 9 (Tonioli) = 37

Actual Score: 10 (Inaba), 10 (Goodman), 10 (Hough), 10 (Tonioli) = 40

Winner Prediction

Going into Monday night’s show I predicted Kordei as the frontrunner. However, after looking at the dance order for tonight — Jennings got to perform the last dance and be freshest in viewers’ minds — it looked like the football star was being  positioned to be the favorite of the night. I felt that he definitely gave two of his best performances of the season. However, I’m really pulling for Kordei as she’s been the most consistent all season. As long as Ross doesn’t win I’ll be happy.

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