'Dancing With The Stars' Season 25 Cast Revealed

Tom Bergeron surprises with announcement that spring brings only a four-week mini-season for the venerable franchise.

For the first time, there was still a little bit of competition remaining heading into this Season 25 finale. The four finalists competed on Monday night, but there was one final “Last Chance” round to come during the live broadcast, which meant there was one more elimination. Drew Scott & Emma Slater came just short of dancing during Tuesday night’s extravaganza.

There were two more dances left for each remaining couple, and fans could still have their voices heard as they faced their last chances to vote for either Jordan Fisher & Linsday Arnold, Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson, and Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas during the broadcast.

For the first round, the celebrities were able to pick their own favorite dances of the season to perform again for the judges. The second was a 24-hour fusion round, but what was even more exciting was seeing some of the contestants in their original element. We got to see Lindsey kill it on violin, while Jordan Fisher shared a Christmas song medley with Debbie Gibson, and Nick Lachey sang a new song as we looked back at the season journeys of the final three standing.

Still others we lost along the way came back and performed one of their favorite performances from the season so we could remember how much we enjoyed them, including Derek Fisher, Vanessa Lachey, Terrell Owens and Drew Scott. Barbara Corcoran, the first booted off, even turned up for a quick number where she could make Keo uncomfortable again.

Fair warning, since I'm safe at home, I'm probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Carrie-Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tolioni. But I might be nicer, too. Maybe.

[Editors note: video will be added when it becomes available.]

ROUND ONE - FAVORITE DANCE

Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas

What a triumphant and joyful performance, and such a marked improvement over when we saw this nighty-night jive in Week 3. Lindsey has become the dancer she always dreamed of being, exuding the same energy and enthusiasm for this new artform as she’s made famous through her violin. Even though the competition is still on, it felt like she was already free of any of the stress that goes with it. Her movements were brisk, light and so full of delightful energy that I found myself smiling along and bopping along with them. Even Mark knew with a fist pump at the end that they had absolutely nailed this reprise.

Judges Scores: 10, 10, 10

My Score: 10

Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson

Frankie is a light and joyful personality, but I really like him in these more intense danes. He reprised their pirate Argentine tango, and was so in command of Witney and the stage throughout the piece that I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Somewhere along the way, Frankie learned how to dance small as well. The moments between the big steps are the foundation of a good performance, and he’s been timid in those before, but no more. This was one of his most confident and pronounced performances yet, coming just in time as the competition is stiff for the title. I’m pretty confident he’s got the support of fans at home, though.

Judges Scores: 10, 10, 10

My Score: 10

Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold

Sassy and sexy and in command, but to be expected. I wanted a little more sultry than theatrical, but Jordan does everything just a little broad. Usually that works and looks great, and he still comes across like a professional performing with Lindsay, but he needs to work on performing a little more suited to the venue and the format; in this case; television. It’s the tiniest critique and only brought up, because after weeks of perfect performances, what do you really say? He makes it look easy, but that could be a problem when it comes to America rallying behind him.

Judges Scores: 10, 10, 10

My Score: 10

ROUND TWO - 24 HR. FUSION

Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas

Tango and cha-cha were fused together and learned in only 24 hours for these day. The cha-cha section felt a little more confident, but what wonderful hold Lindsey had during the tango portion. Mark did a great job of transitioning from one to the other, keeping the very different styles separated in the dance so that the tango would build into the cha-cha. You could see a few places Lindsey lacked a bit of confidence in what was coming up next in the choreography, but overall she did a fantastic job with such a tight turnaround on a pretty rich-with-content piece.

Judges Scores: 10, 10, 10

My Score: 10

Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson

Foxtrot and tango were mashed together for their 24-hour challenge, and Witney still managed to slip some artistry into the opening. Frankie lost his hold position a few times throughout and overdanced the tango a bit -- those pesky shoulders -- but it wasn’t anything that detracted from his monumental growth on the season. Here was the joyful performer that always lurked inside. With his dances tonight, he showed viewers every side of him and who he is as a person. He’s not the strongest dancer left in the competition, but he absolutely deserves this spot in the finale for his journey, his work and the quality of movement that he can now consistently give.

Judges Scores: 10, 9, 9

My Score: 9

Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold

Paso doble and salsa is a challenging fusion, but if any couple can do it, it’s this one. There wasn’t a ton of salsa content there at the end, but I applaud Lindsey’s choreography in how she transitioned from one into the next. Jordan’s presence and command was flawless in the paso portions, and then he dropped right into the groove of the salsa like it was nothing. Len had it right when he said this kid is just a natural. And the partnership between him and Lindsay is an absolutely joy. You can tell that it is a true friendship at this point.

Judges Scores: 10, 10, 10

My Score: 10

RESULTS

That “Last Chance” voting block was even shorter than anticipated. To keep things fair, they didn’t open the voting until all of the dancing was complete, meaning it was only available through a single commercial break.

It was two nights of perfection from the judges for Lindsey and Jordan, giving them a slight lead over Frankie but just a slight one. With a finale this tight, it really comes down to who America wants to represent “DWTS” as a champion for the next few months at least until the spring finale.

Third place went to Franke & Witney, meaning that America continued its impressive streak of ranking these dancers almost exclusively by their overall technical skill and ability. After what we saw in the previous season -- and in some others going further back -- I’m both surprised and pleased to see this. But would that put Jordan in the title? He had the strongest season overall, but for finale week he’s in a dead heat with Lindsey, as both scored perfect scores for all four dances.

WINNER

Both of the remaining finalists had amazing seasons filled with stellar performances. Either would be a worthy champion, but the people’s champion is the judges’ champion and the overall best dancer: Jordan Fisher.

Jordan blew us away after Week 1 and essentially ran away with the competition. His win also gives Lindsay Arnold her first Mirrorball trophy, and it was well-deserved. Carrie-Ann was write that this partnership elevated both dancers, with Jordan’s skill and tenacity pushing Lindsay to choreograph more complex movements and dance even harder to keep their upward momentum.

“Dancing With the Stars” returns for a special four-week, all-athlete edition in the spring. It looks like we may not get Season 26 until the fall. Is this the price we must pay for ABC getting “American Idol”?

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