'Dancing with the Stars' season 27 finale: Two perfect scores at the end of Night 1 sets the bar really high
Titled the "Thanksgiving Spectacular", the finale's first night started airing on Monday, November 19, 8 pm ET/PT, with a grand opening parade, followed by performances from Avril Lavigne, Dan + Shay, Lauren Daigle, John Schneider, Robin Thicke, and Tinashe.
Finallly, the night that most fans of 'Dancing with the Stars' have been waiting so eagerly for, is here! With the remaining four finalists fighting for the coveted Mirrorball trophy, fans will soon learn who will be taking it home on season 27 of DWTS. Titled the "Thanksgiving Spectacular", the finale's first night started airing Monday, November 19, 8 pm ET/PT, with a grand opening parade, followed by performances from Avril Lavigne, Dan + Shay, Lauren Daigle, John Schneider, Robin Thicke, and Tinashe.
But of course, the remaining four contestants - Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe, Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess, Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten or Milo Manheim and Witney Carson - have to battle their way through the two finale nights and perform two dances each, before hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews announce the season 27 winners. The first night of the finale, however, kicked off the Thanksgiving special parade, where the finalists were reunited with this season's eliminated cast members for an opening number, featuring a fun Mirrorball trophy float, a marching band, several troupe dancers and a whole lot of holiday spirit!
Speaking of the finalists' performances - out of the two - the first is a redemption routine, where the duos will perform a dance they have already performed before, and the second is a new, freestyle performance. Here's how it went down in Night 1.
Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten
The evolution of their showmance might have been quite magical on the show, but what was equally magical was their Swan Lake performance from the very second week. It was one of their most beautiful performances but also suffered a minor wardrobe malfunction. So taking the floor with the same performance this time, the duo presented an even more beautiful Argentine tango than they had the previous time, one that spectacularly showcased that sparks were flying between the two!
Even though the judges appreciated Alexis' confidence, they had some not-so-great remarks and critiques on the technical aspect of the dance - thus, sadly, leaving the prospect of a perfect score out of question. A little short of a 30, the pair did end up scoring a staggering 27 out of 30, which is actually two points more than their initial Swan Lake performance's score.
Alexis' ever-increasing confidence, however, had a few minor critiques regarding some hyper-technical aspects of the dance, meaning a perfect score was likely out of the question.
Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess
Almost as if addressing the question people have been asking about this star finalist for weeks, pro-Sharna Burgess asked on the pre-taped footage "How did we get here?" Fans believe it is Bobby's herculean efforts he put into improving his dancing skills coupled with his ever so infectious energy and excitement that he brings to the floor every time, that has taken him to the top despite the less than impressive scores.
For the repeat, they decided to redo his Cha Cha -- set to "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer -- that earned them a really sad low score during Trio Night. And considering how little the judges liked that routine the first time around, this was a bold choice to make. But Bobby was full of boldness tonight as right after his performance, he took his show off and got all the three judges to sign it, declaring: "They have been so nice to me while giving me bad scores, and I love them."
As for the dance, the duo ended up scoring a solid 24 out of 30 for their cha cha, which is a whole 4 points higher than the scores they had received for it the first time around.
Evanna Lynch and Keo Mostepe
If there's another thing as lovely as Alexis and Alan's showmance this season, it is Harry Potter actress Evanna's evolution as a dancer through her DWTS journey. From the shy, subtle weakling, Evanna had embraced her sultry, confident side in her and Keo's rendition of a tango "Disturbia" by Rihanna and while many thought that was the pinnacle of embracing new things, Evanna proved them all wrong by getting fiercer this time.
Again, this was a rather bold choice, especially because they had gained a whopping 29 out of 30 for the same number the first time around. However, Evanna has been full of surprises this season, and she ended up scoring the perfect score - 30 out of 30 - this time!
What's better? Her co-star from the Harry Potter franchise, Emma Watson, sent in a pre-taped video to air after her performance, wishing her good luck in the finals. "She's a woman who inspires me so much," a beaming Evanna told host Tom Bergeron after watching the message, "so that means a lot."
Milo Manheim and Witney Carson
Everything was pretty much just perfect for Milo and Witney's performance - the pre-taped video footage, the live music, and of course, their dance! "When I was seven years old, me and my mom would sit down and watch this show," Milo reflected in the pre-taped video right ahead of his performance. He also reflected on the fact that if he wins, he would be the youngest contestant on the show ever to take home the Mirrorball!
For their repeat dance, the duo decided to recreate the magic of their New York City-themed Charleston, but only with the bonus of live music in the background, courtesy Robin Thicke -whose presence was deeply appreciated by Tom, as the singer recently lost his home in the Woolsey wildfire.
But as for Milo and Witney, turns out the judges adored the performance more than they did the previous time. And guess what? They also won the second perfect score of the night, meaning a full on 30 out of 30!
If scores were a clear indication of who's faring well on the show, then fans already have some answers, but of course - live votes will be taken into consideration. So only time will tell what goes down in the end of finale night 2 when the time for announcing the winner of this season finally arrives tomorrow, November 20, at 8 pm ET/PT, only on ABC.