Dancing With the Stars Season 19 Finals Recap: The Toughest Elimination Yet After Four Perfect Scores

Alfonso Ribeiro, Sadie Robertson, Janel Parrish and Bethany Mota
On part one of the two-part Dancing With the Stars season 19 finale, all four finalists earned perfect scores for their freestyle routines -- but one had to go home Craig Sjodin/ABC/Getty Images (4)

Bring on the Mirrorball madness! Dancing With the Stars kicked off its two-night season 19 finale on Monday, Nov. 24, with a ballroom battle featuring the four remaining finalists: Bethany Mota, Sadie Robertson, Alfonso Ribeiro, and Janel Parrish. Each star performed two routines, including a freestyle number choreographed by their pro partners. In the end, one couple was eliminated, leaving only three in the race for the Mirrorball trophy, which will be awarded during the show's grand finale on Tuesday, Nov. 25. Let's recap!

Bethany Mota and Derek Hough

Dance No. 1: Jive

The first dance for each couple was the judges' choice, which, for Bethany and Derek, meant a repeat of their week one routine, a jive to Taylor Swift's impossibly catchy "Shake It Off." Bethany was really feeling the pressure to show everyone she had improved — and that's exactly what she did. "You've been the ideal student. Everything I told you to do, you did it right," Bruno Tonioli said after the performance.

Score: 36 out of 40 (9 from everyone) 

Dance No. 2: Freestyle

Bethany and Derek's freestyle dance to Diplo's "Revolution" was a theatrical, futuristic routine with a lot of impressive-looking lifts and fierce choreography. "That is a five-star freestyle!" Len Goodman exclaimed. Added Carrie Ann Inaba: "You are a fighter!" Indeed, fellow judge Bruno compared it to a scene out of The Hunger Games, with Bethany in the role of Katniss.

Score: 40 out of 40 (10 from everyone)

Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas

Dance No. 1: Samba

The judges chose Sadie and Mark's week four dance, a samba to Pharrell's "Hunter," because head judge Len missed it the first time around. Len and Mark have clashed over their creative differences in the past, but they were definitely on the same page with this routine. "It was a quack attack! And the routine is just what I like," Len told the pair. "What a great number."

Score: 38 out of 40 (10 from Carrie Ann and Julianne Hough, 9 from Len and Bruno) 

Dance No. 2: Freestyle

Sadie and Mark upped their game — in more ways than one — with a Super Mario Bros. freestyle routine that earned a standing ovation from the audience and rave reviews from the judges. "I just gave you all of my gold coins!" Julianne exclaimed. "That was the cutest thing I have ever seen." Carrie Ann called it the "most memorable freestyle" she'd seen in ages, and Len agreed. "This, I promise you, I will never forget!" he assured them.

Score: 40 out of 40 (10 from everyone)

Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy

Dance No. 1: Samba

Julianne joined Janel and Val this week to help them improve upon their scores from week six, when they performed a sizzling but low-scoring samba. Despite a couple of setbacks — missed time together because of Janel's Pretty Little Liars filming schedule and a rib injury during dress rehearsal — the pair wowed the judges with their repeat performance. Carrie Ann and Bruno noted a couple of shaky turns, but Len praised their "great rhythmic dancing."

Score: 37 out of 40 (10 from Len, 9 from everyone else)

Dance No. 2: Freestyle

Janel and Val's freestyle was a beautiful, passionate routine — complete with a kiss! — that Bruno called "the visualization of a love poem." Carrie Ann added that the dance got inside her, and changed her. "What you two have is so real and so authentic," Julianne said. "I don't know what else to say, because it was absolutely breathtaking."

Score: 40 out of 40 (10 from everyone) 

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson

Dance No. 1: Jive

Alfonso, still battling a back injury, was tasked with redoing his week one jive routine — not an easy feat given his level of pain. Nevertheless, his performance totally floored the judges. Carrie Ann gave him and Witney a standing ovation, exclaiming, "You set the bar from day one with that dance. And tonight, you slapped us all in the face with it!" Added Len: "You dance like Frank Sinatra sings."

Score: 40 out of 40 (10 from everyone)

Dance No. 2: Freestyle

Alfonso and Witney's swinging freestyle made use of his natural showman skills, and featured a tap solo for the former Fresh Prince star. "To me, that was the ultimate in freestyle!" Carrie Ann raved, praising Witney's incredibly varied choreography, which incorporated several different dance styles. Added Len: "It was an all-you-can-eat buffet of great dancing!"

Score: 40 out of 40 (10 from everyone)

As evidenced by their perfect-scoring freestyle routines, all four stars were talented enough to make it to the finale — but only three were allowed to advance. Those three were Sadie, Janel, and Alfonso, which meant YouTube sensation Bethany and five-time champ Derek had to say goodbye.

Tune in tomorrow to see which of the final three wins the Mirrorball. Do you think the right couple was sent home?

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!