We couldn’t help but hold back tears watching part one of the Dancing with the Stars finale. Last night, the remaining four couples battled it out to compete for the title of Season 23’s champion. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to one pair who just fell short of making it to the top three. Country singer, Jana Kramer and her pro partner Gleb Savchenko were eliminated after a rough week affected their overall performance in the ballroom.
Savchenko came down with the flu days prior to Monday evening’s show, leaving Kramer with little time to practice with her better half in the competition. Savchenko was so worried about letting his partner down, he stressed himself sick. “My body’s giving up, but my mind is fighting,” he said in the duo’s video package.
Each pair performed two dances. The first was a redemption dance chosen by the judges that gave the contestants an opportunity to better themselves after what was considered their weakest performances. The second was a freestyle, which allowed the celebrities and their partners a lot of leeway to get creative and wow the judges, audience and viewers at home.
A still sick Savchenko delivered a beautiful tango with Kramer for their redemption. The judges chose this style due to Kramer being injured the first time they performed the tango. Julianne told the pair that she didn’t feel the same spark she hoped for. Bruno disagreed, saying it sparked for him and Jana was hot as hell. Savchenko and Kramer netted a 35 out of 40 for their first performance and slightly upped the score for their second dance, receiving a 36 out of 40 due to a stumble on Savchenko’s end. The heartbroken pro couldn’t help but feel as if he disappointed Kramer and seeing him teary-eyed broke our hearts as well.
“I’ve learned so much about myself and how strong I can really be,” said Kramer during her exit interview. The “Circles” singer couldn’t be more proud of what she has accomplished on DWTS, in addition to the lifelong friendship she developed with Savchenko over the course of these last three months.
This means that James Hinchcliffe, Laurie Hernandez and Calvin Johnson Jr. are left in the running to win this season’s Mirrorball. All three athletes had outstanding routines last night, leaving the competition at a tossup as to who is going to go all the way.
Hinchcliffe, Hernandez and Johnson also all received perfect scores for their unique freestyles. Hinchcliffe and Sharna delivered a modern dance number that told the story of Hinchcliffe’s car crash that almost took his life and the challenging road to recovery. Carrie Ann called the professional race car driver “the Miracle Man of season 23.” Hernandez and pro, Val Chmerkovskiy gave a performance full of youthful energy that took you back to your childhood years. Bruno thought the Olympic gymnast showed “so much energy,” telling her that she could “send a rocket to the moon.”Johnson and partner, Lindsay Arnold’s routine with a New York City subway setting consisted of several lifts and flips. Len thought it was absolutely brilliant. He also told the former NFL player earlier in the evening that he is by far the most improved dancer in the finals.
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy
Redemption Dance (Paso Doble) — 38/40
Freestyle — 40/40
Total for the night: 78/80
James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess
Redemption Dance (Foxtrot) — 37/40
Freestyle — 40/40
Total for the night: 77/80
Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold
Redemption Dance (Viennese Waltz) — 35/40
Freestyle — 40/40
Total for the Night: 75/80
See which couple will get crowned Season 23’s winner this evening at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.