The season finale of “Dancing with the Stars” was also the season finale of “Alexis and Alan: A Love Story.” It came as a surprise when the show started promoting a romantic narrative for contestant Alexis Ren and her pro partner Alan Bersten, and our readers didn’t necessarily buy it. But it culminated with them reaching the finals and getting one last quasi-romantic dance together, a freestyle with live musical accompaniment by Avril Lavigne. Watch it above.
This was only Bersten’s third season on the show as a pro, and it was his first time in the finals, so we finally got to see him let loose and choreograph a routine with no stylistic restraints. And he literally brought Ren to the mountaintop, starting at the peak and climbing down with her for an emotional number that ended with her ascending once again to the summit. The staging was incredibly “dramatic,” as judge Len Goodman pointed out, but Bersten contrasted that with subtle group choreography that showcased Ren’s elegance.
Goodman was concerned that the dance would be overshadowed by Lavigne’s musical performance, but those fears were allayed: “It had strength. It had a wonderful musicality about it,” he said. Bruno Tonioli added that the routine “aimed very high … The level of difficulty, not just technically but emotionally … You were on top of it all the way through.” And Carrie Ann Inaba, though initially displeased with the dismount from the mountain, thought the dancing that followed down on the stage more than made up for it.
But it wasn’t enough for Ren to win the Mirror Ball Trophy — instead it went to Bobby Bones in a huge upset. Was it at least enough for her to win her handsome prince, though? Ren and Bersten kissed after they got their perfect score of 30 out of 30 from the judges, but it looked a bit awkward, like they couldn’t quite find each other’s lips — or didn’t quite want to. So will they live happily ever after? … Reply hazy, ask again later.