The freestyle dances during the last episode of ‘DWTS’ always separate the good from the great, and Bindi & Derek proved why they deserved to win Season 21 with their emotional, stripped down performance on Nov. 23.
Dancing with the Stars always makes me cry, but I was more emotional than ever before on the Nov. 23 episode, when Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough‘s freestyle tugged on the heart strings of the hosts, the judges and all of America. Here’s why they deserve to win.
Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold and Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess have come far, and deserve to be in the finals, but Derek and Bindi really have something special and stand out each and every week.
Their first dance of the night on Nov. 23 was the Quickstep, the most physically demanding dance because of the fast pace. In the practice package, Bindi showed off black and blue bruises, while Derek battled a debilitating cough. But they pulled it together for the show and got a perfect score.
Judge Julianne Hough said, “You, my dear, are the Energizer bunny! You executed it so well. It was so fun!” Bruno Tonioli said, “That really was a jem of a quickstep. Every aspect was gleaming like a diamond. The footwork was precise. When you dance, you’re fearless.” Carrie Ann Inaba continued her awe of Bindi: “I feel like I’m a better person after watching you dance. You’re able to make people feel better. A star is born.”
The Quickstep was great, but the real moment of the night came when Derek and Bindi danced their freestyle. The freestyle is typically a large, over-the-top production with a lot of dancers and theatrics. Instead of all that, Derek wanted to showcase Bindi as a dancer, and show how far she has come.
They danced to a stripped-down version of Leona Lewis‘s “Footprints In The Sand.” At the end of the performance, a huge photo of Bindi and her Dad appeared on the screen above the dance floor. Bindi lost it, I lost it, the judges lost it.
Carrie Ann said, “That was a dancer’s freestyle. Thank you to mom and dad for creating you. What you do is that you do each moment to its fullest potential. I’m grateful for you.” Julianne added: “This is the best finale we’ve ever had. Everyone is on top of their game tonight — woah, I’m crying! The difference with you — you’re so special. We’re not just watching you, we’re on the journey with you. It was beautiful. It was extraordinary.” Bruno added, “You showed us the power of dance in its most pure and effective form. You dance from the heart and you touched everybody’s soul.”
It literally had Bindi, Tom, Erin, Carrie Ann, Julianne, ME, and everyone else watching in tears.
Bindi said to the camera: “This whole experience has meant the world, for my whole family, it has changed my life. This whole experience has changed my life, so thank you.” She is still SO YOUNG — she’s only 17, and she has bared her heart and soul for this show. She is seriously a ray of sunshine and, not to sound like Carrie Ann, but I’m happier when I watch her. Her performance quality is magnetic and infectious — her facial expressions always make me smile. Her dances almost always make me cry, even if they are upbeat, because she really puts everything into every dance, and you can tell just by watching.
Do you agree with me? Should Derek and Bindi win DWTS, HollywoodLifers? Tell me in the comments.