The finalists await their results (Adam Rose/ABC)

What a week in the "Dancing with the Stars" universe, amirite? After we bid farewell to Drew Scott and Emma Slater on Monday (in a surprise to pretty much nobody, despite the duo's strong performance in a super-fun freestyle that evening), it was time, last night, for Season 25's Grand Finale. And goodness, I don't know if we've ever seen quite so many perfect scores thrown around the ballroom. The final three—Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson, Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold, and Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas—performed a total of six routines on Tuesday, and five of them earned straight 10s. Yes, those scores were well-deserved; the finalists danced their bedazzled behinds off. But it also felt like the judges were channeling Oprah. YOU get a 10, and YOU get a 10, and YOUUUU get a 10!

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(From left) Corbin Bleu, Lindsay Arnold, and Jordan Fisher on "Dancing with the Stars" (via @dancingABC on Twitter)

We'll be honest: After 25[,000,000] seasons, we didn't think "Dancing with the Stars" had any more tricks up its sequined sleeves. But then, last night, the show snapped us out of our spray-tan-fume–induced stupor by bringing back some of our favorite alums for the trio round. Another chance to see Laurie Hernandez and Alfonso Ribeiro and QUEEN KRISTI YAMAGUCHI strut their stuff on the ballroom floor? Yes! Yes please.

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Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold performing their samba (via YouTube)

Helloooo, and happy Wednesday! Did you realize there was a special bonus episode of "DWTS" last night? If you missed it, fear not—we've got you covered, as always. Right off the bat, we will say that the show's wasting no time this season. Just barely recovered from Monday's elimination, we then had to bid adieu to a second couple last night 😭. But that's the name of the game, and like I said yesterday, anything goes when there's a Mirrorball at stake 🏆. On to the dancing!

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Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas in the Season 25 premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" (Eric McCandless/ABC)

It's fall! The leaves are changing, everything everywhere is pumpkin-spice flavored—and "Dancing with the Stars" is back on the air. For the 25th time. Season TWENTY-FIVE, y'all: Here we go.

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ABC

Drumroll, please!

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Dance News

Wowza.

Last night's "Dancing with the Stars" episode—round one of the two-part finale—was a lot of things. Fully clothed was not one of them. We got a 90-minute show chock full of makeout sessions, bare chests, lingerie, and gold unitards. Oh, yeah, and a whole lotta dancing. This show meant business: Each of the four remaining couples took the stage twice. Here are the top moments you may have missed:

James Maslow and Petra Murgatroyd's onstage kiss: From the rehearsal clips it wasn't exactly clear who was directing whom, especially when James choreographed a passionate kiss mid tango. The performance itself was pretty steamy (the kiss was no exception), and featured a bare-chested James under a silver blazer. (I'm not complaining.)

Are we sure Mark's OK?

Mark Ballas' injury: When we saw Mark at the top of the show, his arm was in a sling, and in the behind-the-scenes footage before his quickstep with Candace Cameron-Bure we found out why: Rehearsing with a strained rotator cuff Sunday morning, Mark went down after a bad lift and was rushed to the hospital. He took it like a champ though, and during one of last night's commercial breaks, he was cleared to dance.

The awkward video when figure skaters Tara Lipinski, Evan Lysacek, and Kristi Yamaguchi talked about Meryl Davis', um, blossoming, since dancing with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, plus the duo's sizzling freestyle. Forget Romeo and Juliet's bedroom scene—this routine took passion to a whole new level. Maks was shirtless, Meryl was in lingerie, and even co-host Erin Andrews asked why they didn't make out at the end—they so wanted to. (I, however, would like to know why the gorgeous Meryl didn't point her toes?)

I want one.

When DJ Tanner (yes, Candace was introduced that way!) and Mark took on Center Stage:  I may prefer Cooper Nielson's choreography to Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat," but Candace looked stellar in that gold unitard, and Mark didn't collapse—everybody wins!

Amazeballs.

Amy Purdy's ridiculously amazing aerial feat. During Derek Hough and Amy's freestyle routine set amid what seemed like 18 fog machines, Amy took to the sky—literally. Seriously: She spun around in the air holding a rope with ONE HAND. I don't think I was the only one whose jaw dropped.

The results: Only three couples can perform tomorrow night during the two-hour finale event. Ultimately, James and Petra bid adieu. Something tells me America will miss James' torso.

Be sure to tune in tonight at 8pm/7pm central for the finale!

Dance News

Before we get into our discussion of the steaminess and drama and borderline-inappropriate skin-baring that inevitably characterizes "Dancing with the Stars" Latin Night, some real talk: IS MARK BALLAS OK?

Our favorite goofball pro injured his back during rehearsals last week, badly enough that he had to sit out of last night's performance. And when the guy who's so committed to "DWTS" that he will enthusiastically don an aggressive bunny suit for the cause is forced to hang up his dancing shoes, you know something really ain't right. Get well soon, Mark!

But back to the dancing that did happen: The show opened with a spicy little salsa routine for the pros, set to "Shake That" by Samantha Jade. What a delightful reminder that there are few things as fun as really, really, ridiculously good-looking, really, really, ridiculously talented dancers doing really, really, ridiculously over-the-top Latin choreo:

While many of the star competitors struggled with the overt sexiness of the Latin styles (even a video call with queen Gloria Estefan herself couldn't get Kim Fields in the salsa spirit), others had less trouble getting their shimmy on. Jodie Sweetin (literally) brought the fire in her samba with the fabulously flash-tatted Keo Motsepe:

Sad as she was to lose Mark as her partner, Paige VanZant appeared to have a genuinely good time salsa-ing with stand-in Alan Bersten:

And one of last week's standouts, Wayna Morris, held his spot atop the leaderboard thanks to his white-hot salsa with the always-amazing Lindsay Arnold:

To the surprise of few (but sadness of Trump wig fans everywhere), Geraldo Rivera was sent packing at the end of the evening. Which means "DWTS" will be sorely lacking in the Edyta's Amazing Legs department from here on out.

What did you think, friends? Should sourpuss Mischa Barton have gotten the boot instead—or do we all, like Carrie Ann, JUST WANT TO LOVE HER? Let us know in the comments. And check back next week for our recap of the "Most Memorable Year" episode, which will ideally feature both "Full House" and "The O.C." cast reunions. (We can dream.)

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Pretty much the entire universe can agree that Mondays are #theworst. But Mondays starting September 14th? Nope, Mondays are gonna be the best. Why? Season 21 (!!!) of Dancing with the Stars! And to get you even more pumped than you already are, the list of returning "DWTS" pros was just announced—it's as good as it gets, people.

Derek's baaaaack (screenshot via EllenTV)

First of all, we've got Derek Hough, Karina Smirnoff, Witney Carson and Mark Ballas, all of whom have previously won the coveted Mirror Ball. Already, the stakes are HIGH. Throw defending champ Val Chmerkovskiy into the mix and things get even more interesting. To round out the insanely talented field, we've got Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd and Artem Chigvinstsev. Omg.

Dancing with the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff, with her Season 17 partner, Corbin Bleu, shows us how it's done (Photo ABC/Adam Taylor)

We'll anxiously be awaiting the announcement of the celebrity cast on September 2nd, but in the meantime, relive some of the more jaw-dropping moments of last season here.

Dance News

If you had to name just one dancer as your absolute favorite, could you do it? We love to ask this question when we interview dancers for our "You Should Know" or "The Dirt" columns. More often than not, we either get a long list of names or total silence. With so many fabulous and unique dancers out there, it's a seriously tough question!

But, alas, it's the question FOX's Teen Choice is asking the Twitterverse. The 2015 awards—which will air on Sunday, August 16, at 8/7c—has a brand-new category: Choice Dancer. And they're currently accepting nominations via Twitter. Here's how to submit your nom:

Simply insert the twitter handle of your favorite dancer in the draft below—be sure to include #TeenChoice and #ChoiceDancer—and tweet away! And if you really can't make up your mind, there's nothing that says you can't nominate more than one dancer...

Who do you think will make the final list of nominees? We've been doing some research in the depths of our Twitter feed to get a sense of the front-runners, and here's what we came up with:

"So You Think You Can Dance"/"Dancing with the Stars" babe Allison Holker is making a serious bid for the top.

Step Up star Alyson Stoner is winning support through her humble spirit.

Former "Dance Moms" fave Chloe Lukasiak doesn't need to campaign—her fans are going above and beyond.

And repin' the dudes, "DWTS" pro Mark Ballas has perhaps the most adorable fan support. (Everybody now: D'awwwww)

So we're predicting Allison, Alyson, Chloe and Mark for #ChoiceDancer, but there's still time to change the game. (Where my #TeamMaddie and #TeamMisty's at?) Happy tweeting!

 

 

 

Dance News

It seems like Derek Hough is carrying the whole dance world on his shoulders—or, more realistically, his feet—these days. Between his starring role in the Radio City Spring Spectacular and his stellar partnership with Nastia Liukin on "Dancing with the Stars," he's become a bicoastal dancing MACHINE.

A machine that is now, sadly, suffering some mechanical problems: DHough just had a freak accident and ended up suffering injuries to both his right foot and his left ankle. Yipes.

What happened, exactly? Unclear—but apparently it was stair-related. "Wish I had a cooler story to tell," Hough said in an Insta caption. "All that dancing, flipping, jumping and the thing that stops me in my tracks is something as simple as a light and some stairs."

Luckily, best bud Mark Ballas was by his side in the emergency room. And luckily for us, even in the face of ickiness, the two of them were still able to snap goofy sadface photos, as best buds do:

Womp. (Instagram)

Double womp. (Instagram)

Hough's understudy, Taylor Frey, will be taking over for him in the Spring Spectacular. But at the moment it's unclear who might step into his "DWTS" shoes—or if there's a chance he'll be back in time for Monday night's performance. We're sending all our healthy-foot vibes his way!

In the meantime, true to form, Hough is staying positive:

A photo posted by Derek Hough (@derekhough) on

Dance News

Just to be clear, the giant sparkly "10" is for "perfect 10," not Season 10. There have been TWICE that many seasons. Which is both awesome and insane.

Whoa whoa whoa: It's SEASON 20 of "Dancing with the Stars"? Can we talk about this? I was finally wrapping my head around the fact that "So You Think You Can Dance" is gearing up for its 12th (!) season—and then, BOOM, the press release for the Season 20 "DWTS" cast landed in my inbox. Time flies when you're having dance-y fun, apparently!

Anyway, yes: Everyone's favorite ballroom extravaganza is gearing up for another bedazzled run, and we now know (almost) all of the celebs and dancers who'll be competing. Highlights of the celebrity lineup include Olympian Nastia Liukin (whom I've always wanted to slap pointe shoes on—doesn't she look like she'd make a beautiful ballerina?), TV star Suzanne Somers, music legend Patti LaBelle, The Hunger Games' Willow Shields and actress Rumer Willis.

For us nerds, though, the pros are the true celebrities. So the happiest news of all is that many of our favorite superdancers will also be taking the floor this season—among them Derek Hough, Allison Holker, Mark Ballas and Sharna Burgess. Last season's champ, the fantabulous Witney Carson, will be returning, too, though her partner is TBD.

Here's the complete list. Tune into ABC on Monday, March 16 at 8 pm EST for the "DWTS" premiere!

Noah Galloway with Sharna Burgess

Robert Herjavec with Kym Johnson

Patti LaBelle with Artem Chigvintsev

Nastia Liukin with Derek Hough

Riker Lynch with Allison Holker

Charlotte McKinney with Keo Motsepe

RedFoo with Emma Slater

Michael Sam with Peta Murgatroyd

Willow Shields with Mark Ballas

Suzanne Somers with Tony Dovolani

Rumer Willis with Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Witney Carson with TBD

Dance News

Last year, we saw the first ever Instagram #Thanksgivingdancewars, courtesy of former "Dancing with the Stars" partners Maria Menounos and Derek Hough. The two families (and the Ballas fam) battled it out, 'gramming their goofiest kitchen dance moves while prepping for Thanksgiving dinner.

We're happy to report that the #Thanksgivingdancewars broke out again this year—and while lots of celebs got in on the fun (including Kate Hudson), it really came down to a battle of duck vs. turkey.

#TeamTurkeyMan, aka The Houghs, stepped things up this year with fancy partnering and, of course, Turkey Man.

But #TeamDuck—aka Mark Ballas, Sadie Robertson and fam—gave #TeamTurkeyMan a run for their money with clean formations, unison choreo and a certain (bearded) secret weapon.

Who do you think won this year? Check out Mark Ballas and Derek and Julianne Hough's Instagrams for even more #Thanksgivingdancewars videos—and let us know in the comments!

P.S. Two makes tradition, so we're expecting this to be an annual thing from now on. Just sayin'.

Dance News

Meep. Last night's "Dancing with the Stars" continued the trend of minimal Pro Troupe Team performances. We totally get it: The competition is winding down, so they're giving the stars maximum screen time. But c'mon guys! You've got so much talent waiting in the wings—and we want to see it!

That being said, last night's "DWTS" found a creative way to spotlight some of the Pro Troupe Team members and eliminated pros. In the Trio Challenge, each couple selected an additional pro to add to their team. Turns out, three was the magic number for two fan favorites: Sadie Robertson and Alfonso Ribeiro.

Robertson took on the three-person foxtrot with partner Mark Ballas and newly-eliminated pro Emma Slater. We gotta hand it to you, Sadie: It took guts to dance next to a pro of the same gender, and you didn't let her show you up.

Ribeiro and Carson turned their paso doble into a paso triple with Pro Troupe Team member (and Carson's BFF) Lindsay Arnold. And to throw convention completely out the window, the three danced to that Lil' John classic, "Turn Down for What." The fact that Len Goodman still gave them a 10 is a testament to how extra-strength fierce their routine was.

Both earned perfect 40s!

But all this trio-y goodness didn't come until the second half of the show. The first part of the competition was "America's Choice." Throughout the week, viewers used social media to weigh in on style and music selections for each couple. Who fared the best? Somewhat surprisingly, Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy took the lead with a charming and polished quickstep to "Hey Girl! Hey Boy!" Naturally, the routine was sealed with a kiss. (Classic Chmerkovskiy, amiright?)

In the end, Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev were sent packing (meaning Tommy Chong is headed to the semi-finals...). Did the wrong person go home? Who do you think will go all the way? Does Lil' John belong in the ballroom? Let us know in the comments, and check back here next week for more results.

Dance News

It's National Dance Day time! The annual event, launched in 2010 by Mr. Nigel Lythgoe and his Dizzy Feet Foundation, will be held on Saturday, July 26 this year.

Dancers getting their groove on in L.A. at NDD 2012 (photo Valerie Macon/Getty Images North America)

As always, there are plenty of ways for you to get in on the celebrating. If you're based in or around L.A., NYC or Washington, D.C., you're in particular luck: There'll be large-scale events in each of those three locations. The flagship L.A. celebration, held in Grand Park, will run from 10 am to 3 pm and include classes in all kinds of styles, from hip hop to salsa to afro-cuban dance. In NYC, you'll be able to rock out with fellow dancers at Lincoln Center plaza beginning at 4 pm. In D.C., there'll be a series of performances and demonstrations at The Kennedy Center starting at 4 pm, celebrating the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act—and led by AXIS Dance Company, which is renowned for its physically integrated dance.

If you're not near one of those metropolises (metropolii?), though, no worries! There are all kinds of other dance events happening across the country. Click here for the full list.

And no matter where you are, you can always participate in NDD by learning one of the official routines and posting your video to the Dizzy Feet Facebook page. We've included the instructional videos for this year's routines below. (The advanced number features choreography by Chris Scott to Mark Ballas' hot new single "Get My Name"—not too shabby.)

Have fun celebrating, everyone!

Beginner routine

Beginner routine (seated)

Advanced routine

Dance News

Sometimes we get a little sad when professional dancers decide to pursue singing careers. It feels like they're abandoning us.

But it doesn't look like "Dancing with the Stars" favorite Mark Ballas, who recently released his first single, "Get My Name," is forgetting about dance anytime soon. The video for the song, which came out yesterday, is jam-packed with steamy choreography by Misha Gabriel, Nick Bass, and Ballas himself. It's also directed by Ballas' "DWTS" buddy Derek Hough. And it features an A-team group of dancers (we see you, Taja Riley!) that includes a bunch of amazing "DWTS" pros—with the standout being gorgeous girl-of-the-moment Witney Carson. (In fact, if you saw Ballas' performance of "Get My Name" on "DWTS" last week, a lot of the choreo will look familiar.) It's like a little dance-world family party, and Ballas just happens to be the musical entertainment.

At this point it's not like you need more reasons to watch, but did we mention that the song itself is darn catchy? And that Ballas seems to be emulating JT's suave retro look, which is always, always a good idea?

Happy Friday, guys!

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