Who will win the Mirror Ball Trophy? That’s the big question for tonight’s two-hour Dancing with the Stars season 19 finale, and we’ll find out, provided ABC doesn’t cut away for any more breaking news.

Alfonso Ribeiro, Sadie Robertson, and Janel Parrish all made it to the Final 3, separated by just three points on the leaderboard. Tonight they get one last chance to win points from the judges with the 24-hour fusion challenge before the scores and viewer votes are combined to determine the winner.

'Dancing with the Stars' Season 19 Finale Recap: And the Winner Is...

We’ve also got musical performances by Meghan Trainor, Jennifer Hudson, and Nick Jonas, plus the return of most of the season 19 cast for special dances.

It’s a big night for DWTS with a lot of questions to answer. Will Alfonso achieve his 10-year dream of winning the Mirror Ball, making Witney the first SYTYCD alum to win DWTS? Will 2014 be an all-Chmerkovskiy year for DWTS with Val following in the footsteps of Maksim, who won season 18? Will Sadie become the second-youngest winner ever, just two months older than Shawn Johnson when she won with Mark Ballas back in season 8?

I predict that Alfonso and Witney will win, but it’s incredibly close and I wouldn’t be completely shocked if any of the three remaining couples were declared the winners.

LIVE…from Hollywood…it’s the finale of Dancing with the Stars!

Opening Number: After an hour of the Road to the Finals, there’s a big opening number with all of the eliminated stars returning. I love the energy so much that even seeing Michael Waltrip pop out of nowhere puts a smile on my face.

Freestyle Encore: Bethany Mota and Derek Hough won the chance to repeat their Freestyle from last night, probably because it was a Twitter competition, so of course the social media star and the most popular pro won it. It’s also good because it means none of the actual finalists need to stress out before competing for real. Their routine still scares the crap out of me in a good way.

Randy and Karina: After a look back on the first three weeks, Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff do a little dance that’s perfectly fine. He was OK, but this season had a lot of strong competitors, so I’m not that sad that he was eliminated so early.

Nick Jonas: The JoBro performs and continues his transition from tween star into a cross between Justin Timberlake and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. My favorite part is that when he interacts with the girls in the crowd, none of them look at him. They all have their backs to him so they can take selfies with him in the frame. That’s so weird. Instead of looking at their idol, they turn away from him so they can have a photo of the moment that they missed out on when it actually happened.

Jonathan and Allison: Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holke reprise their Men in Black routine, which is awesome. And they’re joined by Allison’s husband, Twitch from SYTYCD. I was not aware they were married, but that’s so cool. This is like the Trio dance they would’ve done.

Outtakes: We see a bunch of R-rated outtakes of Tom and Erin goofing around during dress rehearsals. Erin Andrews needs to take herself less seriously more often.

Betsey and Tony: Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani redo their week 1 dance, this time without a feather boa malfunction. She’s not good at all, but she seems to have fun, so good for her.

Michael and Emma: It’s time for Michael Waltrip to embarrass himself some more and for Emma Slater to feel shame. This season may have the biggest disparity between good dancers and bad dancers.

Antonio and Cheryl: After looking back at the middle weeks of the competition (man, I miss Leah Remini as the guest co-host), Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Cheryl Burke perform. I completely forgot he was even on this season.

The Fresh Prince of DWTS
: There’s a rather hilarious parody of the opening credits of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with Alfonso and the other stars singing. Genius!

Jennifer Hudson: The Oscar winner and American Idol alum sings with a ton of dancing and lasers. She doesn’t even look like the woman I remember from Idol and Dreamgirls.

Lea and Artem: Lea Thompson goes full-on cougar as a “Maneater” with a fun little performance accompanied by several other male pros.

The Ladies of DWTS: The female pros do a sexy performance and I think Erin is more into it than Tom is. Seriously, she can’t stop talking about the gorgeous ladies on this show.

Tommy and Peta: Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd repeat their hilarious “Drop It Like It’s Hot” dance from week 1, only this time Len joins Cheech and Chong in the car. I feel like the world is ready for a new Cheech and Chong movie.

Happy Holidays: Since the holiday season is starting, we hear what the stars and pros are thankful for. Mostly it’s family, but I kind of love that Sharna and Peta are thankful for each other because they’re such close BFFs who spend every day together for the past 10 years. Several stars then do a winter wonderland dance. Also, they wheel out a birthday cake for Bruno Tonioli. Somehow he’s 59.

Bethany and Derek: They reprise their super weird Paso Doble with the drums and the hoodie. Maybe Derek should be less abstract if he wants to win again, because this season some of his routines were just too artsy.

Meghan Trainor: She’s all about that bass. I just wish the song was called “All Your Bass Are Belong to Us.” That’s a joke for the nerds.

There’s some hilarious smack talk between the Final 3. Alfonso says that Janel will go from a Pretty Little Liar to a Pretty Little Loser, Sadie asks if Alfonso is on social security yet and Janel threatens to eat the duckling. Finally, it’s time for the 24-Hour Fusion Challenge! The Final 3 were given styles and songs after last night’s finale and must now perform a brand-new routine.

Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas: QuickSamba

They have Samba and Quickstep. Like always, she’s really good, but a little out of sync with Mark when they’re side-by-side. That’s been her problem all season, and it’s why she’s good, but not great. The judges thought she did a great job for 24 hours, but it wasn’t perfect. Still, at this point, all of the comments are positive because there’s no reason to criticize. There’s no more dancing and no more voting for them.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

Seriously? I guess everyone gets 40s tonight, just like the Freestyles, regardless of what actually happens. But this means that Mark Ballas now has 20 perfect scores during his entire run on DWTS, tying Cheryl Burke for second place on the all-time list. Derek, with 36 perfect dances, is first.

Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy: Foxo Doble

They have Foxtrot and Paso Doble. They absolutely crush it and effortlessly blend the two styles. This is why Sadie’s score is so ridiculous because the notion that these two performances are equally good is preposterous. Sadie wasn’t quite perfect, but these two actually WERE perfect.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

Janel is only the 10th star to ever receive five perfect scores in a single season.

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson: Argentine Cha-Chango

They have Cha-Cha and Argentine Tango. The fact that they’re good is a formality since we all know the judges are giving out 10s like free condoms at a college health clinic. It’s a great way to go out, with the best of the season. Also, Alfonso is going on the DWTS tour.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

And now Alfonso is the 11th star to get five perfect dances in a single season. This is only the second season ever that two different couples earned five perfect dances, the other being Joey Fatone and Apolo Anton Ohno way back in season 4.


120: Alfonso Ribeiro
118: Sadie Robertson
117: Janel Parrish


With less than 15 minutes left, it’s time for the results. With the new scores, the difference between first and last is equal to less than 0.9 percent, so the scores probably won’t matter at all unless the public vote was insanely close.

The couple in THIRD PLACE is…Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy!

Aww, boo. I thought they had a real shot. I’m actually surprised that Sadie beat her out, even though she was one point higher. I thought that emotional Freestyle was enough, but now I’m worried that Sadie might actually win.

More shocking, Sadie only has the fourth-best average score of the season, yet she’s in the Top 2. That’s only happened one other time, with Jerry Rice from season 2. In every other season, the Top 2 always had one of the three best average scores in their seasons.

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson win Dancing with the Stars season 19!

HOORAY!!!! He completely deserves it. He’s been amazing since week 1, had the best scores of the season and wanted it so badly. Sadie is gracious, and second is amazing for her, but Alfonso is just the ultimate feel-good story, especially with his recent injuries.

This also marks the fifth season in a row where the couple with the highest average scores from the judges has also won, which is a good thing in my eyes.

I’ll see you back here in March for the 10th anniversary of Dancing with the Stars and season 20.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.