Was it really two months ago since we started this 25th season of "Dancing with the Stars"? Man, it feels like it was just ... no, actually, it definitely feels like two long, whole months have passed. Remember when Derek Fisher was on this show? I genuinely hadn't until Tuesday night's finale! But what of Debbie Gibson? Same! And remember back to the first week when "Shark Tank" star Barbara Corcoran attempted to dance? Wish I didn't!
It's been a long ride, but Tuesday night, "Dancing with the Stars" crowned its latest king of the dance floor, its newest master of the mirror ball trophy. After weeks – and arguably months – of being the clear best dancer of the season, viewers made it official last night and voted Jordan Fisher the champion of "Dancing with the Stars" season 25. The bright and beaming Lindsey Stirling and her choreographer king partner Mark Ballas came in a close second, while Frankie Muniz finished with the bronze.
It was a very deserved win for Fisher, though not exactly the most exciting or dramatic to watch. Is it possible for a celebrity on the show to be TOO good for "Dancing with the Stars"? After it became obvious he was the best dancer on the show – and that viewers weren't holding his stage (and therefore choreography) background against him – it's been admittedly hard to focus on the competition when clearly few others stood a chance against his perfect, precise and show-stopping numbers. Sure, Frankie was solid and Lindsey, in any other season, would've been a favorite (plus, Drew Scott seemed like the season's potential David Ross, a mediocre dancer but charming fan favorite who could push toward the win. But then he was voted off, so womp womp). But this year, against the immaculate slick and smooth moves of Fisher, none of them seemed like a factor for the trophy.
And yes, I am finding a way to complain about the dancing on this season being TOO good.
So if there was ever a year "Dancing" needed an extra night of judged dances and an extra shoehorned opportunity for viewers to vote, this wasn't it. But that's what "Dancing" fans got last night, as viewers were given a final commercial break to get their votes in after the final three danced both a repeat of a dance from earlier in the season as well as a fusion number. I can't imagine anything changed anybody's mind, though, or flipped any votes. Plus, at this point, were any of the judges going to be that harsh? Who, on the finale night, is going to dig into a performance and throw up a 7? OK, well, maybe Len, but still. So unsurprisingly, it was perfect scores abound last night for everyone's final two dances of the season – save for one 28 for Frankie on his fusion number.
With the results rarely in doubt, this week's two night finale was a lot of time spent watching some really impressive dancing – which is never a particularly bad thing, and Jordan is a firecracker on the dance floor – but not a lot of exciting competition or a sense of stakes. There were dances last night, but they didn't feel necessary toward deciding a champion. Overall, these final three episodes feel little like a slow march to the inevitable.
Of course, "Dancing with the Stars" could've helped a guy out and merely cut down this finale week to one episode, but NOPE! Two nights and four hours – and boy, did "Dancing" not have the material for it. Even after Monday night's filler, such as Lionel Richie's random awkward "American Idol" giveaway and the Fifth Fourth Harmony performance, there was still more time to be wasted. I know complaining about a TV competition's finale being dragged out is like complaining about Wisconsin having cold winters, but come on, let's tighten these things up.
The result was half a season finale, recapping the season (I totally forgot the part of Stirling's backstory where "America's Got Talent" rejected her and she proved them hilariously wrong) and bringing back familiar faces as expected, and half an odd Christmas special, with sleighs and Christmas-themed dances and one number set to Lady Gaga's "Christmas Tree," which – reading these lyrics – I'm starting to think she's not singing about a Christmas tree!
It wasn't all bad delays and awkward double entendres, however. It was admittedly nice seeing Debbie Gibson back on the show (she really should've gone at least a little bit further this season), and it was fun to see Vanessa Lachey perform again – not only because I'd forgotten what a fun, flirty livewire she can be on the floor but also because we got to see what her Movie Night quickstep was supposed to look like before she danced right out of her skirt. We got one very brief but very lovely Victoria Arlen dance, giving her a deserved final bow. And, if we're gonna stall – and the show's advertisers insist that we do – I can't think of a better thing to do with these talented celebrities than to actually let their talents take a moment in the spotlight, so letting Jordan sing a Christmas ditty and Lindsey fiddle away a holiday song (alongside pop star and "Power Rangers" star Becky G, who must be tired of being confused for Demi Lovato with that haircut) was one of the evening's better diversions.
Unfortunately, the finale bungled its big moment. Coming back from the final commercial break, as well as the final voting block, the show had the final three stand awkwardly on the stage while Nick Lachey crooned ... something? The "Dancing with the Stars" version of "One Shining Moment"? I'm sure the producers needed some time to add up this final flurry of votes, but it felt like just one more delay, all while the celebs and dancers on stage looked visibly bored.
But then the show finally gave out its shimmering prize to Jordan Fisher – and harrumphing about a lack of drama aside, he was truly a remarkable young dancer, so quick on his moves but also still in perfect control, fun but finessed on the floor. It's not every season of "Dancing with the Stars" – or, really, any reality competition show – where the right person wins, where the person who is most popular is also the most talented and capable. But this season was a pleasant exception – with some powerful dances guiding the way there.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.