Of course, the special night begins with a suitably over-the-top introduction (THIS JOURNEY BEGAN SEVEN AND A HALF YEARS AGO) with plenty of stats (175 stars, 288 nights of competition)... and then we get a fun Stars and Stripes dance with all of the All-Star contestants. And streamers!
We also naturally get a look back at the first part of the finale, which sure, is kind of filler. But there are some fun little nuggets of backstage info - Kelly was disappointed in her slip during her first dance ("It's a .5," she sighs backstage), Melissa admits that she didn't even expect to make the final ("You did great," she tells Tony charmingly), and we see Shawn advising the Fierce Five to "really listen to the music" before their dance together, before saying the night was "awesome". Turns out Len thought so, too - the judges choose to revisit Shawn's freestyle from the night before!
Dance Centre - Part One
Time for some Dance Centre hilarity with Len, Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice. The main thing you need to know is that Len's faces throughout these segments are amazing (they even compensate for the gags that fall a little flat.)
The highlights from this first part? Clips of Maks being unable to keep his hands off himself ("If this guy was any more in love with himself it'd be on cable"), Kirstie and Maks's "well-adjusted" relationship (cue clips of violent threats), "Bristol took Mark to the gun range - and unfortunately missed", clips of Mark showing off and like a million clips of Tom and Brooke talking about the shocking Sabrina exit.
The Instant Dance Picks
Each finalist will have to perform an 'instant dance' later - they'll pick a Latin dance and music and then have to perform in less than an hour. Kelly and Val are first to pick a ball, but what does Kelly not want to get? "Any of them," she deadpans. But here we go - they have to do a jive to 'Cat and Mouse'. "Very happy!" Kelly says.
In an amazing live television moment, Tom then has to put the "very expensive" balls back together ("That's the last time we shop at an under-a-dollar store," he sighs). Melissa's next to pick, and she does not want to get the cha cha. Luckily for her, she'll be doing a samba to 'Life Is A Highway'! But they did do a samba in the first part of the finale - how will that affect things?
So that leaves Shawn and Derek with the cha cha, which they'll be dancing to 'Respect'. They have less than an hour to get these dances ready... we'll see how they turn out later!
Previous Contestants Return
While the finalists rehearse desperately, it's time for some previous contestants to show off their chops! Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas are back first, dancing to '(Blow Me) One Last Kiss', and they're followed by a sexy routine from Pamela Anderson and lovely Tristan McManus (and a whole lot of other men, too). "Normally when you see something like that there's a two-drink minimum," Tom gasps, practically fanning himself.
Next are Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower - though they don't get to dance before we revisit Chelsie's amazing lack of knowledge about languages in South America. "I don't feel nearly as bad about being confused earlier," Tom grins, referring to an autocue snafu.
We also get to see Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya again... but this time they've got a special guest. It's Drew's cute-as-a-button daughter Isabella! She is beyond cute, talking about how she's excited to dance with her dad "in front of a thousand people" and giggling that they need a lot of practice. And Tom reveals before they take to the floor that it was his favourite dance in dress rehearsals! Sure enough, it's an adorable performance (to 'Crazy In Love') and even finishes with some pyrotechnics. Then Tom terrifies everyone by revealing that Isabella wasn't even born when Drew won season two...
After some super fun outtakes from this season's confessionals (nice burp, Sabrina), it's time for the first team dance of the night. Kirstie, Emmitt, Joey and Gilles - and their partners - all take to the floor for a 'Gangnam Style' dance, complete with them ripping their clothes off. I am horrified. The judges have silly string. Let's move on quickly... after all, as Tom says: "The first time I saw that, I didn't think it made sense. The second time, I've realised I was right the first time."
Before Joey takes to the floor with his dance, Brooke checks in on Kelly and Val. Kelly is excited about taking on the jive later - she's looking forward to having a high energy dance - but Val is sick. "I'll not take any more of your time," Brooke says, clearly not wanting to catch anything from him. Tom suggests carbon monoxide poisoning: "They are dancing in a parking lot."
But back to the former contestants, and it's time for Joey to dance again. First, though, we see a bizarre skit in which he drives the Delorean from Back To The Future back to 1987, where he advises his younger self to practise his cha cha more. I can't deal with this, though Tom makes it worth it by saying: "That just made my flux capacitor tingle." Also worth it? The two adorable kids who join Joey and Kym on the dancefloor as their younger selves!
After a look back at the surprises and tough challenges this season, it's time for Tom to yet again say how shocking it was that Sabrina and Louis were voted out - but they're back for their finale dance, and to prove that it is still a travesty they were eliminated so early. Then - before Apolo, Sabrina, Helio and Drew's team dance to 'Call Me Maybe' - Brooke checks in on Melissa, who admits that it's not an advantage that they did a samba the night before; the music is a lot slower for this dance.
Dance Centre - Part Two... and Part Three
Time for more Dance Centre fun, as Len continues to overshadow everyone with his great faces. This time, the highlights include Emmitt's variety of neon outfits and Gilles talking about being French and American and French and American. There'll be more later...
But after Kirstie and Maks reprise their 'Part of Me' dance and Gilles and Peta revisit their Bollywood routine, Brooke goes to see Shawn to find out how rehearsals for her instant dance are going (and giggle because they're both wearing vaguely similar red dresses). Shawn admits that there's a lot of pressure, but she says she wants to make sure she has fun since this will be her last dance. "Also, get good scores," Derek pipes up.
Apolo and Karina return to the floor to perform their 'Skin (Sarah Beth)' routine, while Emmitt and Cheryl have fun with 'Chain of Fools' again. But enough of that - we've got the final section of Dance Centre now, and they're discussing the finalists!
Shawn: Shawn (nicknamed 'Giggles' by Kenny) is described as "little miss dynamite" by Len, who loves her synchronicity with Derek and the fact that she always dances on the edge. Kenny jokes about her youth, quipping that they can't find her birth certificate from Hawaii ("there's no proof she was even born there"), which leads in nicely to Derek being unable to pronounce Des Moines and getting Iowa and Illinois mixed up. Also, clips of Shawn giggling. So many clips of Shawn giggling.
Melissa: Melissa - dubbed "magnificent" - is praised by Len for her musicality and extension: "She is the real deal." But Kenny says she's not just a pretty face, before a package of clips of Melissa being ridiculous ("It feels like I'm peeing on a dog," she says, performing one move). "Or maybe she is," Kenny sighs. Also, we get to see Melissa and Tony's various stumbles in rehearsals. Who doesn't love people falling over?
Kelly: Kenny dubs Kelly "Princess of" Monaco, and praises her body, while Len loves her spins and chemistry with Val. But Kenny points out Val's lack of a clothing budget - hello shirtless Val doing star jumps! He also says he doesn't want to get into gossip about whether Kelly and Val did or didn't. "They did," he proclaims.
The Instant Dance Performances
Time to get serious, so there's black and white footage of Kelly, Melissa and Shawn talking about how tough this competition has been and how much they want to win. You know the type! But before we find out the winner, there's the small matter of the instant dances to deal with. First up? Kelly and Val!
Kelly & Val
Val admits that he's feeling kind of overwhelmed during their final rehearsals, since it will be his last dance with Kelly soon. But the duo vow to work as much as they have to overnight in preparation for the instant dance. Inevitably, Val ends up taking his jacket off in the jive to end up shirtless, but it's also a fun, energetic performance. What will the judges think?
Len: Len says Kelly has been a "revelation", praising her clean, crisp moves and fantastic spins. He adds that she's clearly worked hard and "nailed the footwork"!
Bruno: Bruno walks the line by joking that Kelly and Val have the energy of "two young randy rabbits going at each other", and even elicits a "woo" from the audience when he says: "Definitely something was going on there." He claims he meant that the jive was going on. Sure. But anyway, Bruno points out that Kelly lost a bit of balance... but the effect of the dance was magnetic!
Carrie Ann: Carrie Ann is impressed that the duo were in sync throughout, considering this was the instant dance. She also noticed some slippiness but puts it down to body oil! Apparently, they won the hearts of the audience... and Carrie Ann's heart as well!
Upstairs, Kelly admits that she feels "numb", describing her last dance as bittersweet and explaining that Dancing With The Stars has brought her confidence, talent and friendships. And Val's feeling emotional, explaining that he's really proud of her and is proud to have been part of her journey. Bless! If course, Brooke wants to know if there's a romance going on here, but despite the fact that Val is cuddling and kissing his partner, there's a lot of talk about friendships and not labelling anything and coyness and unconditional love. Hmm. Here are the scores, though - 9.5 from each judge for a total of 28.5 out of 30! That gives Kelly an overall judges' score of 87.5 out of 90.
Melissa & Tony
Melissa is thrilled after getting a perfect score in the first part of the finale, but of course she's in rehearsals all night practising for the instant dance! Tony, meanwhile, says that although the other two finalists might have already won the show - whereas Melissa's never picked up the Mirror Ball - that won't stop them. Melissa's feeling good, but will their samba impress the judges? If not, at least they have the pictures of themselves they stole from the rehearsal studio...
Bruno: Bruno says that Melissa is turning into a "South American siren"! He says the dance was "slinky with a tough of rock and roll" and praises her for pulling through, considering the music wasn't as Brazilian as it should have been. He says she compensated for that with "plenty of sex appeal" and praises her for doing a good job!
Carrie Ann: Carrie Ann talks about Melissa's artistry, grace and lines... but she does say that she rushed the music in this performance, suggesting that it was a disadvantage having done a samba to a different piece of music the night before. But she does think Melissa's had a great season!
Len: Len agrees that the interpretation wasn't quite right... but he does say Melissa has been his "greatest pleasure to watch".
Tony agrees upstairs that it was difficult dancing the samba to the different music, but he's proud of Melissa. As for Melissa, she says both she and Tony have discovered just how strong they are - overcoming several obstacles to make it this far! Here are the scores, though - as with Kelly, it's a 9.5 from each judge for a total of 28.5 out of 30... or an overall total of 88.5 out of 90!
Shawn & Derek
Shawn is determined to do well in the instant dance, considering that she is in last place in the judges' leaderboard so far. Derek, for his part, admits that he doesn't really want the cha cha - tough luck! But things get emotional as Shawn admits she's going to miss dancing with Derek and thanks him for helping her learn about herself. And Derek gets very tearful as he says that Shawn has been his "little spark", inspired him and given him confidence. Bless! Excuse us while we sniffle - here's their dance, and there are big hugs between the pair afterwards. But what do the judges think?
Carrie Ann: The crowd reaction to the dance is great, so Carrie Ann advises them to just absorb it for a moment! But she adds that Shawn started the season as a "star" and finished with a "star studded performance".
Len: Len says that Shawn is the "no stress express", praising her for coping with Derek's "fantastic" choreography. He acknowledges that they haven't always seen eye to eye over the season, but praises her instant dance big time!
Bruno: Bruno announces that Shawn is "going out with a bang", whatever happens - "Perfection!"
Upstairs - after Shawn and Melissa share an adorable hug - Shawn admits that it's "bittersweet" knowing she's had her last dance on the show, but adds that she hopes she made "unbelievably talented" Derek proud. As for Derek, he says Shawn's made the season special for him. So cute! And things are only going to get better with the scores - it's a 10 from each judge for a total of 30 out of 30, or an overall score of 87 out of 90!
Guess what - it's actually time for some results! The judges' scores and viewers' votes are in, and now we're going to find out who is in third place. Will it be Shawn, "who turned in electric performances week after week", Melissa, "who timed her run for her first Mirror Ball perfectly with elegance and excellence", or Kelly, the "first ever champion who brought romance and emotion to her performances"?
Here we go - finishing in third place are... Kelly & Val! Kelly's ever so graceful about her bronze medal finish, saying that the journey was "amazing" and gushing about the friendships and relationships she's made. "This guy is the most incredible man and he's the most talented dancer out there," she says, smiling at Val. As their best bits play, Melissa, Tony, Shawn and Derek come over to hug them. Aww... There's even time for Kelly to repeat her 'Time Of My Life' Dirty Dancing leap!
But now. After all of this. It's time to find out the winner! Shawn's already won a trophy... incidentally, in the same season that Melissa came third. So who's going to triumph this time? It's all feeling very tense as Tom and Brooke keep us waiting. But then Tom grins: "Now they have one too" - Melissa & Tony have triumphed! Everything goes quiet as naughty people swear, but fireworks are going off and Melissa is shocked but thrilled and Shawn and Derek are graceful and happy for them and everyone runs on to congratulate them.
There's not even a chance to talk to the duo because the other All-Stars have all rushed round to congratulate them and lift them high in the air. If this doesn't make you feel warm inside, nothing will. But that's that for another season of Dancing With The Stars - we now have our champion of champions! Are you pleased? Let us know below!