One last time! Before the final four couples hit the Dancing With the Stars ballroom on Monday, November 22, they were giving it their all in the rehearsal studio.
The season 30 finalists — JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson, Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke, Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten and Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach — will face off for the mirrorball trophy during Monday’s epic conclusion, during which they will each perform two routines. The 11 couples who were eliminated are also set to dance an opening number together to celebrate their hard work throughout the season.
Before a new winner is crowned, the remaining pairs will combine two forms of ballroom dance in their first performance, followed by a choreographed freestyle routine. Siwa, 18, has had her eyes on the prize since day one.
“I actually talked to [Jenna] about this a couple of days ago. I was like, ‘We are both going to be livid [if we lose],’ obviously, because we’re super competitive and we want to win, of course,” the Dance Moms alum told Us Weekly exclusively earlier this month. “But at the end of the day, this experience has already been more than anything I’ve ever done before that I’ve already won, and it’s been such a journey.”
The “Boomerang” performer and the So You Think You Can Dance alum, 27, have been the couple to beat throughout the competition — but they landed in the bottom two during the November 1 episode. Since their shocking brush with elimination, they’ve been working twice as hard in the studio to perfect every performance.
“I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned a lot about being happy. I’ve learned a lot about … not second-guessing myself and being on eggshells,” Siwa told Us of how Johnson has helped her grow. “I think the biggest way that [I’ve changed] is I’ve become more open-minded about myself. I’ve always been open-minded about others, but I think I’ve been closed-minded with myself. And I think it’s cool that I’m finally a little open-minded.”
The Nickelodeon star and the Utah native are a dynamic duo on the dance floor, but not all the couples have had such a seamless season. Kloots, 39, and Bersten, 27, have had a few tense rehearsals throughout their journey to get to the finals — but they’ve come out stronger each time.
“Well, Alan’s hard on me. I like tough love though,” the Live Your Life author told Us and other reporters ahead of the finale. “Like, it really does make me work harder, especially when I come in after a full day of work and I’m exhausted. I need him to push me. We are best friends. We work through everything together because we know … we have to be together in order to take this thing home.”
Bersten agreed, adding, “No one said it was ever going to be easy — and Amanda shows [that] every week when she goes out there and her blood, sweat and tears are left on the floor.”
The season finale of DWTS airs on ABC Monday at 8 p.m. ET. Scroll down to see exclusive photos from the couples’ rehearsals before the big night: