‘Dancing With the Stars’ Finale Recap: Did the Right Couple Win Season 23?

Rebecca Iannucci

Not to go all Hunger Games on you, but ever since Dancing With the Stars kicked off its 23rd season, the odds have been in one contestant’s favor.

When we compiled our initial predictions for how this cycle would play out, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez was our pick to win the Mirrorball. And 11 weeks later, on the eve of the season finale, 72 percent of you said Laurie would win (while 54 percent said she should triumph over James Hinchcliffe and Calvin Johnson).

But before we could find out if the gold medalist fulfilled her DWTS destiny, Tuesday’s finale was a two-hour-long nostalgia trip, filled with reprises of memorable routines and montages of Tom Bergeron swearing. (Oh, and if you need me, I’ll be here, rewatching that all-male “24K Magic” performance, AKA my happy place.)

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The three finalists were also scored one last time, by way of their 24-hour fusion performances, the results of which are denoted below:

* James Hinchcliffe and pro Sharna Burgess — Foxtrot/Viennese Waltz — 40/40
* Calvin Johnson and pro Lindsay Arnold — Quickstep/Jive — 40/40
* Laurie Hernandez and pro Val Chmerkovskiy — Foxtrot/Argentine Tango — 40/40

(It was also announced, after Laurie’s performance, that she’ll be part of this winter’s Dancing With the Stars tour — and she hitched a ride to The Grove in Santa’s sleigh! I’m not saying the DWTS producers are hardcore Laurie fans, but I’m also not not saying that.)

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In the end, Laurie and Val did nab first place, while James and Sharna took second and Calvin and Lindsay placed third. “My goal is just to inspire others as I go along with my journey,” the gymnast (and newly-crowned Mirrorball winner!) said, adding, “Thanks for being there for me!”

That’s a wrap, Dancing fans! Do you agree with the finale results? If not, who would you have liked to see win? Hit the comments with all of your thoughts on Season 23!

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