In the biggest shocker in “Dancing with the Stars” history, country music radio host Bobby Bones won the mirror ball trophy on the Monday night finale.
Season 27 of the ABC reality show was already strange enough, featuring the early exit of many more accomplished celebrity dancers, such as singer Tinashe and actor Juan Pablo Di Pace.
Although clearly not the greatest dancer, Bones, 38, was unstoppable in the competition; judges dubbed him the critic-proof “people’s champion.” His low scores didn’t stop fans from voting for him in droves.
On Monday, viewers saw Bones and his partner Sharna Burgess in a familiar position, getting the lowest cumulative score of the four finalists, 54 out of 60 points for two dances.
The celebrities performed two dances, one a repeat performance and the other a “freestyle” routine.
Disney star Milo Manheim and his partner Witney Carson and “Harry Potter” actress Evanna Lynch and her partner Keo Motsepe both received perfect scores of 60, while Instagram star Alexis Ren and partner Alan Bersten weren’t far behind with 57 total points.
But at the end of the night, Bones was declared the winner.
Although it wasn’t announced on camera, ABC later revealed online that Manheim had finished second, Lynch third, and Ren fourth.
After the show, which featured the return of all the season’s stars, Bones told reporters with Burgess by his side, “We’re a bit shocked. When they said our name, we had to look at each other like are they just [announcing] everyone’s name again [before naming the winner]? We were never the ones who were supposed to win. I had the worst odds.
“I think that most people are shocked that we won,” Bones added. “The people who voted aren’t– because they’re the ones that kept us in and who actually made this happen for us. Without the people, we wouldn’t be here.”
Other than his loyal country music fan listeners, Bones credited Burgess, who won her first trophy after seven years on “DWTS.”
The radio host said, “I showed up with no dance experience and I apologized so many times for her getting stuck with me…there were some very difficult times because I couldn’t comprehend the smallest things” about dance.
Burgess said, “I’m still processing all of this…it’s the most epic moment….it represents never giving up.”
At the finale, each star performed a “repeat” dance to improve upon an earlier performance and a “freestyle” number where anything was allowed.
During their circus ringmaster style freestyle to “The Greatest Show” by Panic at the Disco, Bones wore white hat and tails and was lifted up by a previously eliminated co-star, football player co-star DeMarcus Ware. In another odd moment, after his routine ended, Bones insisted on doing the trendy “flossing” dance for a minute.
Perhaps sensing an upset, Bones then joked on camera he would achieve a “mirror ball miracle!”
To his shock, he did.
Bones, who told Fox News last week that he plans to run for governor of Arkansas in 2022, will be a mentor on the upcoming season of ABC’s “American Idol.”
But first, Bones will appear as a special guest star on the “DWTS” nationwide tour which begins December 15 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Meanwhile, second place finisher Manheim, who will also make some tour dates, told Fox News after the show, “I learned that I’m capable of things that I didn’t know I was capable of.”
The 17-year-old son of “The Practice” star Camryn said his mother had spoken to him after Bones was announced as the victor: “She told me things that made me super happy after a tough loss.”
Manheim, who was raised by his single mom, never spoke about his father on “DWTS,” but he was in the audience cheering him on Monday.
“He flew all the way in from Wisconsin so it was really awesome to see him.”
Lynch, in third place, is looking forward to going home to her native Ireland for the holidays.
Fourth place finisher Ren got involved in a romance with her partner Bersten, and he said after the show about Bones winning, “At the end of the day, it’s about entertaining. He connected with people…and worked really hard.”
Bersten noted about dating Ren off-camera, “We’re allowed to be normal people [now]…we’ll see what happens.”
Ren told Fox News she’d consider doing another reality show.
She also recently said she would be visiting Japan, where she has a management company “working to bring other brands from the states to Japan, bring the world together. I really love the Japanese culture and the people so it’s been a passion of mine.
“I’m open to a lot of different opportunities.”