‘Dancing with the Stars’ finale recap: Who won the Mirror Ball Trophy at the end of this wild, upside-down season? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Take a deep breath, everybody. Monday night, November 19, was the moment of truth for “Dancing with the Stars” season 27. So who won the Mirror Ball Trophy, who came close, and who fell by the wayside? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.

Four finalists entered the finals, and it wasn’t necessarily who we had been expecting at the start of the season: radio personality Bobby Bones, “Harry Potter” actress Evanna Lynch, Disney Channel star Milo Manheim and model Alexis Ren. They managed to survive a season that included a historic run by low-scoring “Bachelor in Paradise” alum Joe Amabile and the shocking eliminations of high-scoring celebs Tinashe and Juan Pablo Di Pace.

Di Pace was the highest scoring celeb of the season when he was sent home unexpectedly in the Semi-Finals, which left the door wide open for the remaining contestants vying for the Mirror Ball. Manheim had the consistency, topping the judges’ leaderboard four times over the course of the season. Lynch had the narrative: after a slow start she blossomed as a dancer in the kind of triumphant arc the judges and viewers often love.

Bones had the fan base, appealing to viewers at home despite having one of the lowest average scores of the season. And there was even a romantic subplot, with Ren confessing her feelings for her pro partner Alan Bersten. That showmance has been controversial with our readers, but it seemed to finally win her support from the audience after she struggled for viewer votes at the beginning of the season.

So who had the best freestyles? Who had the most moving moments? And did the right celeb win the 27th Mirror Ball Trophy? Find out below starting at 8:00pm (all times listed are Eastern), and leave your comments to let us know what you think of this one-night finale event.

Daniel Montgomery, 7:57pm — Ready for tonight’s show?

Cordell Martin, 7:58pm — Watch Bobby Bones win …

Jeffrey Kare, 7:58pm — Knowing how unpredictable this season has been, I could totally see that happening.


Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten

Argentine Tango – “Swan Lake” by Ray Chew Live

DM, 8:05pm — “It’s crazy to me how much you’ve grown on this journey,” says Alan about his partner, who will be repeating her “Swan Lake” tango. “I’ve really found love, and I’ve never felt better,” says Alexis. Another dose of showmance to get us through the night.

DM, 8:07pm — The best thing about Alexis on the dance floor is her flexibility and her precision. She creates such gorgeous shapes on the dance floor, and Argentine tango is such a perfect style of dance to complement her dance skill.

JK, 8:07pm — For the first dance of the night, BREATHTAKING!

JUDGES — Len Goodman thought it had “plenty of snap, crackle and pop,” though there were moments when he was concerned about her footwork. Bruno Tonioli “loved the classical touches … Obviously the connection works, especially in this dance,” but was there a stumble in a landing? He’s choosing not to see it. Carrie Ann thought her point wasn’t quite as strong as before, but it was still beautiful.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Bruno (9) — Total: 27 out of 30

DM, 8:11pm — Two points better than she scored the first time she performed this dance. That’s a fairly modest improvement given this is the finale and the judges are usually 10-happy by now.

CM, 8:11pm — They are setting up Alexis for fourth place.

Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess

Cha cha – “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer

DM, 8:15pm — I’m a little scared of Bobby whipping out those Hammer pants again. Let’s see if it’s a little more polished than it was the first time.

DM, 8:16pm — “We started from less than scratch,” says Sharna candidly about Bobby’s lack of dance experience, or even dance knowledge. “My talent has always been showing up and putting in the hours,” says Bobby. At the very least he has the right spirit for this show.

JK, 8:18pm — OK, I found that cha cha to be pretty laughable.

DM, 8:18pm — I think that was a little clunkier than it was the first time. I’m looking forward to the freestyle so he can do as much flossing as he wants.

CM, 8:19pm — Yeah he’s really milking this.

JUDGES — Bruno says, “You were shining like a pop idol … Whatever you do is so totally, honestly you that you’re irresistible.” Carrie Ann adds, “You defy the laws of Latin and ballroom dancing,” but “hard work and determination pay off,” and she loves it even though she needs to take points off for his decided lack of technique. Len concludes, “You put the ham in Hammer … You make so much fun out there, and in turn you give me so much fun.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Bruno (8) — Total: 24 out of 30

DM, 8:21pm — I get why the feel bad giving 7s at this stage of the competition, but those 8s were REALLY generous. That was four points better than his original performance of that dance, but the dance itself I don’t think was really any better. We love him for bringing thee fun in, but give him the right scores, people.

JK, 8:23pm — But why is Grocery Store Joe back for an encore?

DM, 8:23pm — And it sounds like they’re going to do that train wreck salsa again. Yikes! But let’s be honest, I’d much rather see him doing an exhibition encore than be competing for the Mirror Ball Trophy tonight.

JK, 8:25pm — Very true.

CM, 8:25pm — Me too.

DM, 8:25pm — He was truly a historic, unprecedented contestant this season, so some acknowledgement of him feels fitting. At least he’ll be joined by all the other pros.

Grocery Store Joe Encore

DM, 8:34pm — My mistake, not many pros in this one, just more “Bachelor” jokers. That was … something. I noticed Nick Viall in there, who was ironically actually better on this show than Joe was.

CM, 8:36pm — Yeah, please no more bachelor contestants EVER!

Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe

Tango – “Disturbia” by Rihanna

DM, 8:40pm — “I’ve so learned the power of believing in myself,” says Evanna about the confidence she has learned from Keo this season. That’s why she’s dancing a reprise of her Halloween tango, when she finally decided to give zero Fs and dance for herself.

JK, 8:43pm — Excellent work!

DM, 8:43pm — I don’t think this tango had quite the same fierce defiance as it did the first time, but still an outstanding job.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann congratulates Keo and calls Evanna “the most improved by far … It was better the second time. It was even more grounded. It had even better connection.” Len thought Evanna achieved her goals of improving her posture and frame. Bruno calls it “clear, crisp, clean … It balanced power and beauty perfectly.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Bruno (10) — Total: 30 out of 30

DM, 8:46pm — A special gift for Evanna, a video message from her “Harry Potter” co-star Emma Watson: “You are unbelievable. We are so proud of you!

JK, 8:47pm — How nice of her to send that message.

DM, 8:48pm — And with that perfect score it really feels like they’re setting up an Evanna vs. Milo battle with the audience breaking the tie. Unless one of them makes a really obvious mistake somewhere, I’d expect 10s all around for both of them.

Milo Manheim and Witney Carson

Charleston – “Living in New York City” – live performance by Robin Thicke

DM, 8:53pm — “This has been more meaningful than anything else in my life,” says Milo about making it to the finale. He wants to redo his Charleston because that was when people started taking him seriously as a dancer. That was one of his best routines, and Witney thinks she has done some of her best work as a pro with Milo. That’s high praise from the woman who danced to a Mirror Ball Trophy with Alfonso Ribeiro.

DM, 8:56pm — Charleston was a great choice for his redo, showing off the best of Milo’s personality and how well he handles busy, intricate choreography. Kudos!

JK, 8:56pm — That was terrific! Full of energy!

JUDGES — Len says, “I’ve got underpants older than you … To come out with so much confidence, so much maturity” and with a lot more of the “Charleston swivel.” And Bruno called it “sharper than ever,” praising the “out of this world” musicality and attention to detail; he also thinks Milo is “destined for great things,” just like Zendaya. Carrie Ann still thinks he’s the man to beat.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Bruno (10) — Total: 30 out of 30

JK, 8:59pm — The race is on!

DM, 8:59pm — Yep, Milo and Evanna just need to not fall down and they’re going to just get all 10s so the viewers can sort it out.

Juan Pablo Di Pace Encore

DM, 9:09pm — Juan Pablo redid the Argentine tango the judges loved so much last week, but this time he sang at the beginning. I knew he had a musical theater background, but he was holding out on us. Where was this singing when he was trying to get viewer votes?

Tinashe’s Has Got “Fever”

DM, 9:11pm — “Daddy won’t you treat me right!” sings Tinashe while performing “Fever” with the male dancers on the show. She could just as easy be referring to the viewers at home who failed to vote for her. Really sad we didn’t get to see a lot more dances from her this season.

CM, 9:12pm — Aww, Tinashe.


Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten

“Head Above Water” – live performance by Avril Lavigne

DM, 9:15pm — “I want to make it really special. I want you to feel empowered,” says Alan to Alexis about the freestyle he’s choreographing for her. It’s his first freestyle since joining as a pro a few seasons ago. Excited to see what he’ll bring to highlight her moves without any constraints.

DM, 9:19pm — Solid freestyle for Alexis, and she looked great doing it, not a wow kind of showstopper, but Alan did her justice.

JK, 9:20pm — Yeah, I thought that was very good.

JUDGES — Len was “concerned” the dance would be overpowered by the song. “It had strength, it had a wonderful musicality about it. Dramatic.” Bruno says she “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 though it started slow with difficulty coming down from the mountain, but she made up for it when she got down onto the dance floor; it was the best dancing Carrie Ann has seen from her.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Bruno (10) — Total: 30 out of 30

DM, 9:21pm — OMG, that awkward kiss! It looked like Alan was avoiding her mouth and she kept trying to find it.

Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess

“The Greatest Show” remix by Panic! at the Disco

DM, 9:27pm — For better or worse, Bobby was born to do a freestyle. I just want him to go completely insane. Screw technique. “You have created an awesome dance, and I cannot wait to do it,” Bobby tells Sharna backstage during their clip package.

DM, 9:30pm — More narration than I’m used to during a “DWTS” routine. I’m glad they threw in the flossing in the end. But as big as the production was, I was kind of hoping for BIGGER from Bobby himself.

JK, 9:30pm — OK, that was pretty clever.

CM, 9:31pm — Bless his heart.

JUDGES — Bruno says, “That was the perfect freestyle for a free spirit … Sharna, you have done ab absolutely stunning job with that number. It was spectacular, and it was delicious.” Carrie Ann adds, “You shone so brightly, Bobby Bones!” And Len concludes, “You’ve always been the people’s champion. And tonight you’ve become my champion.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Bruno (10) — Total: 30 out of 30

CM, 9:32pm — Watch him mess around and win.

JK, 9:33pm — Prediction: The judges are gonna go all out on 10s throughout Round 2.

DM, 9:33pm — Yeah, no one’s not getting a perfect score for their freestyle if Bobby got one.

Milo Manheim and Witney Carson

“Ain’t No Sunshine” (Lido Remix) by Bill Withers

DM, 9:36pm — Uh-oh, lots of props in Milo and Witney’s final dance. Don’t drop the umbrellas! “It’s going to suck” not being on the show anymore, Milo says.

CM, 9:37pm — Evanna going last?

DM, 9:37pm — Yep, they’re switching it up apparently.

JK, 9:37pm — Wow!

CM, 9:39pm — He killed it! One of my favorite freestyles ever.

JK, 9:39pm — As for Milo’s routine, INCREDIBLE!

DM, 9:40pm — That was a little all over the place. I appreciated the water element. I thought that was pretty clever. And Milo danced it fantastically.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann says, “My mind is blown. I don’t think we’ve ever had a freestyle with that much content … You’ve grown from a boy to a man!” Len adds, “What I loved was the mix … Totally different, full of control, full of drama.” Bruno also praises his “versatility” and “quality of movement … You’re a star.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Bruno (10) — Total: 30 out of 30

Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe

“It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk

DM, 9:45pm — I LOVE this choice of song for a freestyle. It could go completely wild. And Keo is bringing in elements of jazz, contemporary and Viennese waltz. I’m highly excited for this one. She look back at this as “one of the happiest times” in her life.

DM, 9:49pm — Keo knocked it out of the park choreographing for the fast and slow of that song. Big and dramatic and small and delicate, but it all fit perfectly. My favorite freestyle of the night.

JK, 9:50pm — I agree with Tom, what a way for her to finish off!

CM, 9:50pm — That was good. Totally unexpected.

JUDGES — Len calls this dance “the cherry on the cake … Absolutely stunning … It showed every part of your dancing off beautifully.” Bruno thought it was “bright, colorful, quirky … She was the center of attention all the way through … and she behaved like a leading lady.” Carrie Ann thinks she did “such a great job … You made it your own, and you made it spectacular.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Bruno (10) — Total: 30 out of 30

DM, 9:53pm — I gave Evanna 3 votes and Milo 2 votes. I’d be happy either way.

JK, 9:53pm — I did the exact same thing.


DM, 9:54pm — Results are on their way!

JK, 9:57pm — My final predictions are: 4. Bobby Bones 3. Alexis Ren 2. Milo Mannheim 1. Evanna Lynch


JK, 9:59pm — What the?!

DM, 9:59pm — Nope. Nope. Nope, No no no no no no no.

JK, 9:59pm — Either someone was handed the wrong envelope or they need to do a recount.

DM, 10:00pm — Was Brian Kemp in charge of this vote too? Have the final results from Broward County come in yet? Why did the judges give him those 8s and those 10s tonight?

JK, 10:03pm — Now I’m really wondering how the rest of the rankings turned out.

DM, 10:03pm — Yeah, we’d better find out those overall rankings, because this was kind of F-ed up.

CM, 10:15pm — He’s by far the worst winner in “DWTS” history.

DM, 10:15pm — I get surprise eliminations and results from time to time, but if Bobby Bones can win the Mirror Ball Trophy, what’s the point in even having judges’ scores.

Judges’ Leaderboard:

1. Evanna Lynch — 30 + 30 = 60
1. Milo Manheim — 30 + 30 = 60
3. Alexis Ren — 27 + 30 = 57
4. Bobby Bones — 24 + 30 = 54 (MIRROR BALL CHAMPION)

Official Final Rankings (Confirmed by ABC):

1. Bobby Bones

2. Milo Manheim

3. Evanna Lynch

4. Alexis Ren

Final Predictions Contest Results:

Who will win the Mirror Ball Trophy? Bobby Bones

Who will finish 2nd? Milo Manheim

Who will finish 3rd? Evanna Lynch

Who will finish 4th? Alexis Ren

Who will get the judges’ HIGHEST score? Evanna Lynch and Milo Manheim (60 out of 60)

Who will get the judges’ LOWEST score? Bobby Bones (54 out of 60)

How many 10s will the judges give out? 10 or More — 18 to be exact

Which judge will give the MOST points? Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli (77 out of 80)

Which judge will give the FEWEST points? Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli (77 out of 80)

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