It was a Nashville kind of night for Lauren Alaina during the season finale of “Dancing with the Stars,” which was no surprise. The big-hearted country music singer started by performing a reprise of her foxtrot to Dolly Parton‘s “Jolene,” and then her freestyle number went full-on hlauren onky-tonk set to Luke Bryan‘s “Country Girl.” Watch her final routine above.
Alaina’s performances were nothing if not on-brand for her, so what really came as a surprise was what happened in her last clip package before she got out on the dance floor for the final time: she actually made her pro partner Gleb Savchenko cry. As a dancer and choreographer on this show, Savchenko is better known for his sensuality than his sentimentality, but he said that he’s “a better teacher and a better human being” after partnering with Alaina this season.
Indeed, this was one of the best seasons he’s ever had. Alaina is only the second celebrity partner who has gotten Savchenko to the finals, following another country singer, Jana Kramer, in season 23. He didn’t ultimately improve on his final result (he and Alaina ended up in fourth place, just like he did with Kramer), but it still felt like a breakthrough for the Russian dance veteran. And in return, he got Alaina a breakthrough of her own when that freestyle got perfect 10s from the judges for a total of 30 out of 30. Not only was that her first perfect score, it was the first time she got a 10 from any of the judges.
What do you think: did Alaina have the best freestyle of the night, and did she and Savchenko deserve the Mirror Ball Trophy for their effort?