Dancing with the Stars recap: Season 23 Finale

If you haven’t watched the show yet, beware: SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Dancing with the Stars Season 23 finale strung me through a melodramatic wringer. It was a two-hour smorgasbord of concerns and reactions that I have painstakingly listed below in chronological order. I’d love to know if you too experienced any of the same emotions. Or add some of your own feels to the comment section!

  • Nauseated by the sexy Santa uniforms showcased by the female pros in the opening number.
  • Thankful that Erin wore a sensible dress that didn’t discourage full-range arm movement.
  • Irritated by the back-and-forth between the ballroom stage and The Grove stage outside.
  • Confused why James and Sharna chose their circus quickstep as their favorite dance?
  • Deflated that Andy Grammer’s song wasn’t upbeat and snappy.
  • Impressed with Andy Grammer’s blueberry-colored performance suit, undoubtedly inspired by Violet Beauregarde.
  • Jealous when the topless JV male dancers in Santa hats surrounded Erin.
  • Elated to see my new favorite JV dancer Jeremy!
  • Skeeved that I could be his mother.
  • No longer jealous of Erin’s Santa sandwich situation.
  • Uninterested in watching Lindsay and Calvin’s Argentine Tango from earlier in the season.
  • Embarrassed by Marsha Brady’s boy crazy ways.
  • Elated by Tom and Erin’s “Behind the Scenes” footage.
  • Puzzled why Maks had a spotlight dance with all the pro/JV women from Dancing with the Stars.
  • Proud when Jenna took centerstage with Maks.
  • Hopeful that Jenna will get her shot next season with at least a mid-level star.
  • Memorized by her hot pink butt ruffle and rainbow sparkled leotard.
  • Envious of Jenna’s long legs.
  • Excited to see Val and Laurie’s “Dance Instructor” routine with Maks again.
  • Bummed that there were hair and wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Impressed that Laurie can totally hang with both Chmerkovskiy brothers.
  • Scared to see Vanilla Ice on The Grove stage.
  • Relieved that he sang “Ice Ice Baby.”
  • Horrified that Rick Perry was going to sing when he took the stage with his boooyyyyyyy.
  • Moved by the dance therapy at Children’s Hospital in L.A.
  • Forever unmoved by the Christmas song “Grown-Up Christmas List.”
  • Happy to see Jenna AGAIN dancing with Artem this time.
  • Delighted to walk in a winter wonderland with Babyface.
  • Nervous that the dancers would slip on all that fake snow.
  • Concerned when a camera man actually did slip and fall on all that fake snow.
  • Eager to see “all the boys” dance to Bruno Mars’ “24 Karat Magic.”
  • Flummoxed when the boys wore silver instead of 24K gold-colored blazers.
  • Composed when the JV boys bounded out in 24K gold-colored blazers.
  • The opposite of surprised as Jana and Gleb revisited their shower routine.
  • Completely uncomfortable as Marilu and Terra rocked around a Christmas tree.
  • Completely content behind a couch cushion.
  • Appreciative of Mandy Moore’s big, outside-of-the-box, inside-of-a-fake-TV, DWTS version of The Nutcracker.
  • Annoyed by the, in my opinion, unnecessary “24 Hour Fusion Round.”
  • Bored by James and Sharna’s Foxtrot/Viennese Waltz.
  • Equally bored by Calvin and Lindsay’s Jive/Quickstep.
  • Dazzled by Val and Laurie’s Argentine Tango/Foxtrot.
  • Upset by the finalists’ hand waving back-and-forth during Jana’s solo before the winner was announced.
  • Giddy when my roommate Lara said, “You guys are better than that.”
  • Contemplative of Calvin’s third-place announcement.
  • Saddened by James’ second-place announcement because his talent was unexpected and I loved that about him.
  • Disappointed that Sharna didn’t get her first mirrorball trophy.
  • Approving of Laurie’s Season 23 winner status because she is a good dancer.
  • Pumped that the end of a Dancing with the Stars season means the beginning of another Bachelor season is only weeks away!
  • Unclear about my feelings toward Nick.
  • Firmly set on my distaste for guys in skinny jeans.
Photo By: ABC.com


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I was SO bummed that James didn’t win. Probably more bummed than I should be. I just loved him as a person and all his dances. Also love Sharna and wanted her to win. Oh well! I will get over it! I did last year when Paige and Mark didn’t win. I think James and Sharna are my favorite couple of all of the seasons!


James and Sharna were my favorite. I’m sorry Laurie was just too goodie goodie. She was good but not as good as James. Imho


Sheesh! She is 16! We want her to be goody goody!


Laurie winning was…anticlimactic. I do like Laurie, I think she’s a bundle of energy and incredibly talented, but I really wanted James to win. Did you hear Tom say that she’s joining the tour? This is my first season of watching DWTS-has another star ever joined the touring group before?

My favorite part was the guys doing the Bruno Mars routine. They all looked like they were having a really great time! I’m a little confused by the lack of Amber Rose in Mak’s routine with all the ladies in which they used the same song and the same costumes from her ‘Woman Up’ routine with him. She was in the introduction of all the stars at the Grove, so why couldn’t she have made at least a short appearance?

The video of the outtakes with Maureen and the guys (and a lot of her laying on the floor) made ME uncomfortable. If even goofball Ryan Lochte looks uncomfortable you know it’s weird.


Same as you, Lincee, I would also like to know where this Jeremy came from, because…hubba hubba! Where have they been hiding him?!


The Army veteran, Alex joined the tour last year. I went to see it in Denver =)


Oops, Alek!


Completely bummed out James and Sharna didn’t win. Laurie was cute and a good dancer, but James was far better. The judges thought so too. And this was Sharna’s best shot at the mirror ball trophy.
Maureen bugged me all season with her facial expressions and behavior. Last night’s piece with her gushing like a preteen over the guys was very cringe worthy.
I thought it was fun seeing Vanilla Ice with the governor as a DJ.
One of the best DWTS seasons in my opinion.


Because Laurie is joining the tour, they HAD to make her champion. Don’t think these things aren’t orchestrated. Like our national election, it’s rigged!


I had voted on all devices i could find for james and sharna…i was so sad a man who sits for a living but dances like a pro didnt win. Nothing against Laurie but doesnt she memorize routines for a living? Wish i wasnt so bummed either.


A little disappointed that James didn’t win, but IMO Laurie and Val really went above and beyond with their last few dances. They deserved to win, I think. Absolutely LOVED the DWTS Nutcracker style performance partway through the finale! Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if they did a DWTS full length television version of The Nutcracker??? How fun would that be! A girl can dream, I guess . . . All in all though, this was an amazing season with terrific performances from some very talented pros AND celebs. I loved it!!

Mollie A
Mollie A



P.S. Don’t think I can stand a full season of The Bachelor with Nick, blerg! Too bad. I will miss watching it!


Glad of the Batchelor’s arrival.z. Sad that it’s multi-season loser Nick.


I wasn’t able to watch the show last night, and happened to see online that Laurie won, yes, such a big shock NOT. Was really pulling for Sharna’s first win, those two really melted my heart, and I am telling you, I would have been feeling a bit insecure if I was James’ girlfriend this season! I can’t help it, but when the ringer wins, I feel like its a rip-off and unfair to those that have a lot farther to go to get to the finals, even if technically the winner is the best dancer. It also means that the pro is more deserving because the work with their “star” is harder. Calvin would have been a good win too.

I for one am looking forward to The Bachelor with Nick. I stopped watching a few seasons back out of sheer boredom and repetitiveness but Nick being the lead sucked me back in because I know there will be DRAMA!!! I was never a fan of his but I don’t care if it means something different finally comes to the table. The same reason why I liked Kaitlyn’s season. She wasn’t vanilla, and neither is Nick. If Britt had been chosen as Bachelorette then I couldn’t have made it through that fakeness to the nth degree.


Have to disagree with you about Jenna. Not a fan.


Which stars did not show up for this? Finally watching now…who is missing? Amber Rose?


She was there but it was very brief. I get the feeling that her and Maks didn’t get along too well. PS, I only saw the finale last night lol. My interest in watching it waned after learning Laurie won. Kind of an anti climax.


Also, looking at the screenshot at the top of this post, can anyone explain to me why Val is holding Laurie’s ears? LOL He is so weird.