After 11 weeks of competition, 2,788 combined hours of training, a lifetime’s worth of spray tan and too many sparkles to count, we finally have a “Dancing With the Stars” Season 19 winner:
Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson!
As the always and forever Carlton said, “Sorry, ladies, dancing is a man’s sport.” The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star and consummate performer has waited 10 whole years for his shot at the coveted Mirrorball trophy. And now the wait is over. “I cannot believe this,” Alfonso said. “I’ve wanted this forever.”
And really, this was the right choice (and not just because Alfonso will be going on the "DWTS" live tour). The onetime Tap Dance Kid grinned and bore it through back and groin injury to deliver flawless routine after flawless routine with performance factors that were through the roof. Alfonso wanted this so badly he even wrote a rap about it, set to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Kudos also to Witney for impressively showcasing her partner with such fresh and innovatively choreographed routines. And for bringing back the Carlton.
Birthday boy Bruno Tonioli declared Alfonso was “always turned on to the max” and could “split beats like a skilled surgeon.” Carrie Ann Inaba likened Alfonso to “a glitter ball. You’re my glitter ball.” Alfonso so deserved this title that the coveted Mirrorball even turned on its axis during his and Witney’s 24-hour fusion. “It swooned,” Tom observed.
“Duck Dynasty” scion Sadie Robertson and pro partner Mark Ballas finished in second place. Janel Parrish wasn’t mad she came in third: The “Pretty Little Liars” star said her partner Val Chmerkovskiy was her trophy for the season. (But does she get to take him home?)
The results came after all three finalists performed a 24-hour fusion dance, which gave viewers one last opportunity to see the stars in ballroom action. Sadie and Mark started with a quickstep-samba fusion that Len said wasn’t perfect, but still earned a perfect 40 score anyway. So did Janel and Val, for their “seamless” fox trot-paso doble that Carrie Ann called “the perfect showcase” for the passionate, artistic, elegant duo. Alfonso and Witney finished out last with their cha cha-Argentine tango, which was high octane, chock full of content what Julianne called “super tight, super clean, the connection together was so on.”
Fourth-place finishers Bethany Mota and Derek Hough got nearly as much dance time as the other three finalists. Fans selected their powerful Katniss-inspired “Revolution” routine as the freestyle encore, and the duo also performed their awesome blood-red paso doble with the “Red Riding Hood” drum corps and Derek in his singlet.
The rest was a fun trip down glitter-verse memory lane as we got to revisit Season 19 highlights and lowlights. Lea Thompson cemented her cougar status with a “Maneater” routine. Michael Waltrip revved it up in his NASCAR onesie with a smoking Emma Slater. Tommy Chong and hemp-wearing Peta Murgatroyd dropped it like it was hot, with low-rider assistance from Cheech Marin and Len Goodman. Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani got a chance to do their wardrobe malfunction over. Randy Couture and Antonio Sabato Jr. made us swoon again with their easy-on-the-eyes routines with Karina Smirnoff and Cheryl Burke, respectively. Jonathan “bug eyes” Bennett did his “Men in Black”-inspired jazz dance with Allison Holker and husband Twitch.
Jennifer Hudson showed off a cute short ’do and turned the finale into a party by belting “Go All Night” with Gorgon City and laser light effects. Meghan Trainor took to the stage to perform a medley of “All About That Bass” and “Lips Are Moving.” Nick Jonas performed “Jealous” outside while many, many screaming girls took selfies and missed out on life.
The wacky dress rehearsal outtakes took the place of "DanceCenter" for a fun chuckle. The stars and the pros took some time to share in the Thanksgiving spirit and share about the things they are grateful for. Janel’s older sister Melissa serves in the army. Sharna and Peta have been friends for 10 years. Emma has a twin sister, Kelly. Derek’s thankful for the opportunity to do what he loves.
Remember when Kevin Hart and Pitbull brought the party as guest judges? Remember how mean Jessie J was? Remember how Mark got so mad when Len didn’t like his zombie routine and that threatened their clubbing nights out? Guys, remember Lolo Jones? Me neither.
But that’s just how the Mirrorball turns, ballroom fans. Sparkly 10 paddles all around.