Performing their favorite dance of the season, Melissa Rycroft and her partner, Tony Dovolani, sambaed to the beat of 10-10-10. They returned to with a freestyle routine one judge called a "freestyle jackpot," and they got 10-10-10 again.
"We wanted to come out and do the unexpected and take a risk--because finale's the time to do it, and it paid off to me," Rycroft said.
"It definitely paid off," said Dovolani. "This has been the most amazing ride of my life. The reason why we're here is because of the audience believing in us, and we brought everything we could. We left our heart on the dance floor, and I hope they saw that.'
In second place, Kelly Monaco and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, revisited their paso doble to near perfection: 29.5 out of 30. They got the same score for their freestyle, performing to a song from "Dirty Dancing."
"We had a blast and entertained," Monaco said.
"I would say she was definitely put in a corner in the beginning of the season," Chmerkovskiy said. "Kind of got her out of it and then, next thing you know, she's in the finals. We wanted to celebrate that."
Shawn Johnson and her partner, Derek Hough, wanted to celebrate their crowd- pleasing but rule-breaking quickstep again. And the judges acknowledged it was a fantastic routine, but they still had to dock their score.
"I thought that was the best thing we'd ever done. So, getting to do it live again was worth it,' Johnson said.
That meant third place for the night. Even with a freestyle routine that earned them a perfect score and that put Shawn on the dance floor with the Olympic gymnasts known as the "Fierce Five."
"And for them to take the time to come here and still support me was the best way to end this journey, the best comeback that I never got and the best moment to end it all," said Johnson.