Mackenzie Ziegler had a new attitude during the season finale of “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.” The 14-year-old singer and “Dance Moms” alum broke out of her shell during the Semi-Finals last week when she performed a fierce paso doble. She carried that momentum into the Finals episode with a freestyle that brought hip-hop flair to the night’s Christmas celebration. Watch her performance above.
Ziegler and her pro partner Sage Rosen danced to “Drummer Boy” as re-imagined by Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes. But it felt less like “Little Drummer Boy” and more like “Little Drumline” when Ziegler and Rosen faced off in a mini dance battle right in the middle of their routine. I’ve been ambivalent about Ziegler all season since she’s pretty much a professional dancer in her own right, but I have to give credit where credit is due: this might have been my favorite individual performance from her, even better than that perfect paso doble last week.
The judges agreed. Mandy Moore called it “incredible” and “absolutely flawless.” Val Chmerkovskiy added, “This was awesome, the best of all worlds and you at your absolute best this season” — amen to that! And Adam Rippon was dumbfounded, saying, “Are you kidding me?” Unsurprisingly, they all gave Ziegler perfect 10s for a total of 30 out of 30. In fact, when the judges’ scores were combined from the Semi-Finals and the Finals, Ziegler was on top with a whopping 118 out of 120 across two weeks and four dances.
Unfortunately for Ziegler, that wasn’t quite enough for her to win the competition. Instead, the title went to Sky Brown, after studio audience votes from the last two weeks were factored in. Do you think that was the right result, or was Ziegler robbed? Vote in our poll below.