The end is here. Dancing with the Stars season 20 has reached its conclusion and now it’s time to find out who wins the 10th anniversary Golden Mirror Ball Trophy.

'Dancing with the Stars' Season 20 Finale Recap: Who Wins the Golden Mirror Ball?

Rumer Willis, Riker Lynch, and Noah Galloway will dance one last time with the 24-hour fusion challenge for more judges’ points and then the winner will be revealed. With Rumer and Riker tied at 80 points while Noah is 8 points behind, it really feels like a two-person race. Riker, as the highest-scoring star of the season, could have an advantage since the person with the best judges’ scores has won 12 out of 19 times, including the last five seasons in a row, but Rumer made a very strong showing in the finale.

In fact, I’m predicting her and Val to win. And the fans agree. In BuddyTV’s poll with over 7,500 votes, almost 70 percent are predicting Rumer to win, with Riker getting 24 percent and Noah way down at 8 percent

No matter who wins, it will be a first-time victory for their pro. It’s Val Chmerkovskiy’s eighth season and his fourth time in the finale, Sharna Burgess’ fifth season and first finale, and Allison Holker’s second season and first finale. If Val loses, he will become only the second pro to reach the Final 3 four times without winning. The other was his brother Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who didn’t win until his fifth time in the finale.

The finale will also be filled with a ton of special performances from the other contestants this season. I’m most excited to see Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough’s Modern Charleston (aka my second favorite routine of the season) and hopefully, we’ll get one last glimpse of Sasha Farber in his crab costume.

LIVE…from Hollywood…this is the finale of Dancing with the Stars season 20!

Opening Number: There’s a fun opening number outside with all of the pros and eliminated contestants (with a nice gymnastic bit from Nastia and Derek that steals the show).

Encore: Riker won the Twitter encore, so we get to see his Freestyle again with Allison. This time it goes much more smoothly and it would actually deserve the perfect score they got last night.

Redfoo and Emma Slater: The first eliminated contestant performs his song “Juicy Wiggle” while Emma dances on his piano. He joins her on the dance floor and it’s his unique brand of entertainment that borders the line of fun and douchey. He’s like the human equivalent of Red Bull.

Charlotte McKinney and Keo Motsepe: The girl who won’t be winning a Nobel Prize for quantum physics does “California Gurls” with two dancing crabs and a dancing shark. Why are Charlotte and Keo even on the stage? More crabs and shark!

Alfonso Ribeiro and Sadie Robertson: The winner and runner-up of season 19 perform together. And then Tom Bergeron reveals that Alfonso is going to be the new host of America’s Funniest Home Videos! Cool, I’m glad Alfonso’s career is getting another act.

Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani: They reprise their “Copacabana” dance. Meh. But then we get some bad lip reading which is pretty funny, especially Derek being dubbed talking about pooping.

Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson: They redo their Shark Tank-themed dance from week 1. Honestly, he’s pretty bad. What happened to him? He started out the season with such promise.

Jason Derulo: He sings his song “Want to Want Me” and I don’t care.

Noah Galloway and Amy Purdy; For a double dose of inspiration, these two double amputees perform quickly together. It really shows that getting amputated below the knee really does make a big difference in terms of movement ability.

Chris Soules and Witney Carson: They redo their “Footloose” dance. I never watched The Bachelor, but I appreciate his goofiness. He has a great attitude for this show, throwing himself into it even though he doesn’t know how to dance.

Nastia Liukin, Sasha Farber, and Derek Hough: They redo their amazing Modern Charleston, second only to Riker’s Pirate Paso for my favorite dance of the season. I kind of wish this time Derek did the dancing instead of Sasha, but it’s still fun.

Dance Hard: Tony Dovolani plays the Bruce Willis role in this Die Hard parody about Tony (with an assist from Len Goodman who drops a giant Mirror Ball on Keo) trying to save traditional ballroom dancing from the attack of Hip-Hop and Contemporary. It’s very funny, especially since someone really does need to save this show from all the Contemporary nonsense.

Willow Shields and Mark Ballas: They do their nightmare-inducing Alice in Wonderland dance with Mark dressed up as the White Rabbit. I genuinely wish they made it to the finale just to see what totally insane thing Mark would’ve come up with for their Freestyle.

Rehearsal Bloopers: The best part is that Charlotte had no idea if the dress rehearsal for the results were for real (they weren’t), Wow, she really is clueless. I also enjoy sassy Erin Andrews, hoping Keo wouldn’t get eliminated first again like last season.

Fifth Harmony: The girl group performs “Worth It” as the female pros dance. We’re now more than halfway through the finale and you could’ve easily skipped everything that has happened without missing anything.

Sia and the Houghs: Sia performs “Elastic Heart” and the Houghs do a supremely cool side-by-side routine with two kids playing their younger selves. It’s all about sibling rivalry, and sometimes the kid and adult versions of Derek and Julianne interact. Man, that routine alone is worth watching the entire finale. Why hasn’t ABC ordered a Hough siblings variety show?

Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev: They redo their swag-filled “In Da Club” routine. Attention DWTS casting director: This is what a real STAR looks like. We need more Pattis on this show.

24-Hour Fusion Challenge

It’s finally time for the last round of the competition as the Final 3 couples were given just 24 hours to combine two styles into one cohesive routine.

Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess: Argentine Cha-Chango

They combine a Cha-Cha-Cha with an Argentine Tango. It’s fine, but like always he doesn’t do much besides lift her up a few times. The judges don’t comment on the dance, instead talking about how inspirational Noah is and how America should give him the win because of everything he gave to this country. Seriously? So I guess this isn’t even a dancing competition anymore. Hilariously, a cell phone totally rings while Carrie Ann Inaba talks.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

At least there were no 10s. I’m sure the next two will be all perfect.

Riker Lynch and Allison Holker: QuickSalsa:

They combine a Salsa with a Quickstep. It’s everything I want, a flawless fusion of these two styles that’s fun, entertaining and sharp. As opposed to Noah, Julianne Hough actually comments on how sharp, clean and amazing this dance was. They also commend his showmanship. Len loves watching Riker even though sometimes he’s too wild and wacky.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

That’s five perfect scores in a row to end the season. And right before that, he got two 39s.

Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy: Foxo Doble

They combine a Foxtrot with a Paso Doble. It’s beautifully danced, as you’d expect. They’re in all black, but the dance has an oddly uplifting feel to it. The judges praise how much she’s grown as a person, star, and dancer. Len says Rumer is as good as anyone who’s ever been on the show and it will be a travesty if she doesn’t win. It’s going to be really awkward if she doesn’t win.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

Rumer now has six perfect dances, tying Jennifer Grey and Meryl Davis for the most ever. And Val has 18 perfect dances, more than his brother Maksim. He’s only two away from second place all-time with Cheryl Burke and Mark Ballas at 20. Naturally, Derek Hough is way ahead of all of them.


120 (34.5 percent): Riker Lynch, Rumer Willis
108 (31 percent): Noah Galloway

The 24-hour fusion challenge literally changed nothing as the percentages are exactly the same as from last night.

Patti LaBelle: She sings her song “2 Steps Away.” There’s a whole lotta Patti in this finale and I’m not complaining.


With the scores and votes all in, it’s time to find out who gets eliminated in third place.

The couple eliminated in THIRD PLACE is…Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess!

As it should be. Just making the finale is a huge accomplishment for him and one he can be very proud of. And this is the best Sharna has ever finished.


It’s down to Riker vs. Rumer. They had the two best average scores from the judges. Riker actually outscored Rumer by a bit, and for the past five seasons in a row, the best average has won. And since they tied with the judges for the final week, this is purely about who got more viewer votes.


They’re ecstatic, as is Rumer’s family. There are plenty of haters out there, but I think most of them are against Val. Rumer Willis did a fantastic job and is very deserving of a win as far as I’m concerned.

And I think it’s kind of cool that, almost one year to the day after Maksim Chmerkovskiy won for the first time, his brother got his first Mirror Ball. Now it means Sharna is the longest-running active pro without a win.

See you again in the Fall for Dancing with the Stars season 21, or as the show has come to be known in my head, Derek Fans/Haters vs. Val Fans/Haters.

(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.