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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Recap: The Final 3 Teams Are Revealed

It’s (almost) the end of the road to the mirrorball for season 25 of Dancing With the Stars! On the November 20 episode, the remaining four couples each performed one redemption dance – which was basically a second shot at one of their weaker performances earlier in the season — and one freestyle routine, a dance designed to showcase their individual stories.

Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson on ‘Dancing With The Stars‘
Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson on ‘Dancing With The Stars‘

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Julianne Hough returned to judge finalists Jordan Fisher, Lindsey Stirling, Frankie Muniz and Drew Scott. Jordan and Lindsey were the clear front-runners going into tonight, but anything can change with one brilliant or disastrous performance! Here’s how each couple fared in the final round.

Pure Perfection

Jordan Fisher has led the pack pretty much the whole way through the competition. Tonight, he and Lindsay Arnold had a chance to “redeem” their Charleston (which, even Carrie Ann Inaba admitted, hardly needed redemption from the first time around). Still, everyone loved their second stab at the dance and Jordan took a moment to say that Lindsay had made him a better artist. (Aww!) Not surprisingly, they got 10s across the board.

Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold with Len Goodman on ‘Dancing With The Stars‘
Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold with Len Goodman on ‘Dancing With The Stars‘

Because they’d been so far ahead of everyone else the entire season, Lindsay and Jordan felt the pressure was on for their second dance. They incorporated lighting, props and all kind of special bells and whistles but Jordan was struggling in rehearsals. When it really mattered, though, he nailed it. “It was honestly everything but the kitchen sink,” Julianne said. “This show truly has taken you to a whole other level.” Carrie Ann said she was heartbroken that she was only going to watch him dance a few more times before the end of the season. Basically, he and Lindsay were perfect. Again. And yes, they got a perfect score. Again.

Music to Lindsey’s Ears

Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas were beyond slammed between her tour and their practice. They had the chance to redeem their quickstep – and they nailed it. Julianne called it “awesome,” while Bruno said it was “silk smooth.” Carrie Ann said it was “vastly improved” and said that she actually thought Lindsey was the “most improved.”

Julianne Hough on ‘Dancing With The Stars‘
Julianne Hough on ‘Dancing With The Stars‘

Mark and Lindsey wanted to pull out all the stops for their freestyle, and they did. This included a section in which Lindsey plays the violin while she’s dancing. The whole routine was very dramatic and sexy, while showcasing this pair’s unique creativity. “That was you, on crack, dancing!” Carrie Ann declared. (That was a compliment, just to be clear.) Julianne called it a “Tim Burton quirky musical masterpiece.” Naturally, they earned all 10s for another perfect 40 for the night.

Frankie and Witney Fall Just Short

Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson were tasked with taking a new stab at their Foxtrot. Carrie Ann challenged him to do a solo to prove his confidence on the dance floor. He did and it was lovely, though hardly on par with Jordan or Lindsey. Frankie and Witney earned a 38 for this attempt. It turned out that this was the less stressful of their two routines tonight, however.

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During rehearsals, Witney received a phone call from one of the show’s producers, encouraging her to rethink her plans for a serious routine in favor of something more “lighthearted.” After some soul-searching, they decided that they would take their chances with the weighty routine – though they were both nervous about how it would be received. Their decision paid off, as the judges gushed over the intensity. Carrie Ann couldn’t help but point out that Frankie did lose a little steam midway through. They ended up with 38 out of 40 for this second effort of the night as well.

Drew and Emma Get the (Unofficial) Spirit Award

Drew Scott knows he’s not the best dancer in the competition (which is the understatement of the century) but his positive attitude continues to charm everyone. This week, he and Emma were tasked with redoing their paso doblé – and they did a very nice job. Julianne declared him the most improved in the competition while Carrie Ann, Bruno Tonioli, and Len Goodman agreed. For their efforts (and improvement), Drew and Emma received 9s across the board.

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For their freestyle, Emma choreographed a bold, fast-paced routine that captured Drew’s enthusiasm and spirit. Everyone loved it, except for Carrie Ann, who pointed out that Drew was out of sync from the other pro dancers during a group section. The other judges disagreed and Drew and Emma landed on a solid 39 out of 40. (Carrie Ann gave them their only 9.)

And The Final 3 Are …

At the end of the night, host Tom Bergeron revealed that Jordan and Lindsay, as well as Lindsay and Mark would be dancing for the mirrorball. This meant that either Drew and Emma or Frankie and Witney would be missing the chance to dance for the top prize by one night. Ultimately, that couple was Drew and Emma. “There’s no way I could have done anything that I did out here without her,” Drew said. “Thank you. Thanks to the judges. You made this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Tell Us: Were you surprised that Drew went home?

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