Bobby Bones knew he wasn’t the best dancer on “Dancing with the Stars.” He was known more for being an entertainer and a showman than for his technique. The judges appreciated that fun-loving appeal, and the fans kept voting him through. But few thought he would actually win the Mirror Ball Trophy, probably not even him or his pro partner Sharna Burgess. But he did anyway. Did the judges inadvertently give him a boost with overly generous scores for his freestyle? Watch it above.
Burgess played to Bones’s strengths when choreographing their final routine, appropriately setting it to a Panic! at the Disco remix of “The Greatest Show” from the musical “The Greatest Showman.” She even gave Bones an opportunity to floss at the end like he did spontaneously during one of their dances earlier in the season. Judge Bruno Tonioli thought it was “the perfect freestyle for a free spirit.” Carrie Ann Inaba said that he shined “brightly.” And Len Goodman concluded, “You’ve always been the people’s champion. And tonight you’ve become my champion.”
But I don’t think Goodman believed Bones would literally become their champion. Did the judges’ scores nudge him too close to the Mirror Ball Trophy? That freestyle got 10s across the board, as did the other three freestyles of the night, which might make Bones the first “DWTS” contestant to receive 10s without ever having gotten a single 9 prior to that.
Was their generosity enough to push him past our predicted favorites Evanna Lynch and Milo Manheim after the viewer votes were factored in? Bones still finished last on the leaderboard, but if they judges had given Lynch and Manheim more of a buffer, perhaps the result would have been different. What did you think of Bones’s freestyle and his resulting win? Did the judges make a mistake by giving him those 10s? Vote in our polls below.