Dancing With The Stars Season 29 Finale Delivered An Upset, But Did The Right Dancers Win?


Spoilers ahead for the Season 29 finale of Dancing with the Stars on ABC.

Dancing with the Stars has wrapped another season, and the latest celebrity to earn a Mirrorball Trophy comes as something of an upset. The finals were down to Justina Machado and Sasha Farber, Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson, Nelly and Daniella Karagach, and Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev. Nev and Jenna seemed like the sure winners, especially after Justina and Sasha were the first to be voted out, but former Bachelorette Kaitlyn and pro partner Artem came out on top.

Yes, Kaitlyn Bristowe will be the proud new celebrity owner of a Mirrorball Trophy, bringing Dancing with the Stars full circle, as she was the first celebrity dancer announced for Season 29. Kaitlyn coming out on top also marks Artem Chigvintsev's first time on top as a champion dance pro. For their first dance of the finale, they reprised their Argentine tango to Britney Spears' "Toxic," which they debuted just a couple of weeks ago during Icons Night and won them perfect scores.

The real showstopper from Kaitlyn and Artem in the Season 29 finale came with their freestyle dance to "Sparkling Diamonds," from Moulin Rouge. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba admitted that she's a huge fan of Moulin Rouge and had high standards, but Kaitlyn clearly met them, as the freestyle earned another perfect score.

dancing with the stars season 29 kaitlyn bristowe artem Chigvintsev abc

(Image credit: ABC)

Still, Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson were arguably the best and most consistent dancing pair throughout Dancing with the Stars Season 29, with the Catfish host proving that even the less famous DWTS celebrities can be real competitors. They started the night with the Swan Lake routine that blew the judges' minds back during Villains Night for a perfect score, and their freestyle to "Singin' In The Rain" involved some real rain effects that had me pretty convinced that all they needed to do was towel off before being announced as the winners.

Nelly and Daniella Karagach turned in some great performances as well, and Justina Machado and Sasha Farber were actually my favorites of the night thanks to Justina's stage presence, but it still felt to me like the DWTS finale was Nev and Jenna's to lose. Congratulations to Kaitlyn and Artem! As for whether the right people won, be sure to vote in our poll below about whether or not Kaitlyn and Artem were the most deserving dance pair to win the Mirrorball this season!

That closes another season of Dancing with the Stars, and only time will tell what the hit dancing series has in store for viewers in Season 30. Season 29 delivered a lot of changes, and not just because the live audience had to be cut due to pandemic protocols. Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were both replaced by Tyra Banks, and former Dancing with the Stars dance pro (and previous Mirrorball Trophy winner) Derek Hough stepped up as judge in place of Len Goodman.

Derek Hough joined as the third judge after Len Goodman was unable to return due to travel restrictions, so Goodman could very well return for future seasons of the series, although I for one would be on board with Hough sticking around for the long run. For now, though, Dancing with the Stars Season 29 has ended to make way for programming changes on ABC Mondays. For what you can watch in the new year, check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.

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Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).