Who Should Win Dancing With the Stars Season 29?

Kaitlyn Bristowe, Justina Machado, Nev Schulman and Nelly are all about to compete for the big prize, but who should come out on top?

By Lauren Piester Nov 23, 2020 10:42 PMTags

Another season of Dancing With the Stars is about to come to an end. 

Season 29 began back in September with one of the most varied and most recognizable casts in a while—stars from Tiger King and Selling Sunset, a Backstreet Boy, a Bachelorette, Nelly, the guy from Catfish. There was a Disney Channel star, two pro athletes, a Cheer coach, an Olympic figure skater and three very different actors. Now, it's down to just four. 

The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, Catfish host Nev Schulman, One Day At a Time star Justina Machado and rap superstar Nelly are all competing for the mirrorball trophy tonight, but only one can take it home. 

So which star will be declared the next winner of Dancing With the Stars? We can't predict the future (even when it's only a few hours away), but we've got some thoughts. 

Keeping Score Of Dancing With the Stars Season 29

We've also got a few picks for favorite (or at least memorable) performances for each of the finalists, who will take to the ballroom a couple last times to try to make their mirrorball dreams a reality. 

ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Kaitlyn Bristowe

Kaitlyn wants this and she wants it bad. She has wanted to be on Dancing With the Stars since her Bachelorette season aired in 2015, and she has proven that she deserves to be in that ballroom time and time again. She struggled for a couple of weeks and got into a little fight with Carrie Ann Inaba over her harsh judging, but she got back on top and now has three perfect dances under her belt. 


Viewer votes are a little bit of a toss-up. Bachelor Nation is a strong fandom that took Hannah Brown all the way to a win last season, and Kaitlyn is a better dancer than Hannah. It's possible that there may be some Bachelorette fatigue here that could hurt Kaitlyn's chances, but she's got a hell of a story to vote for. She almost didn't keep dancing because of an ankle injury and her ups and downs (and ups) made for a satisfying roller coaster of a season that is definitely worth some votes and, in our opinion, the trophy.

Watch her first foxtrot below. While this was only her second dance on the show, she did it with an ankle injury and it was still impressive! 

Nev Schulman

Nev is a great dancer for sure. He has more cumulative points than anyone else this season and has only improved every week except one (he went from a perfect score to three nines). His fate in this finale relies entirely on viewer votes, and while he's known and loved for Catfish, is that enough to carry him to a win?

Strangely enough, as Nev has hit top scores nearly every week, he's flown under the radar. He hasn't had ups and downs so he's without the same sort of story that the rest of the finalists have. He's simply a very good dancer, which just isn't usually enough to win this show. 

Watch his Black Swan paso doble below!

Justina Machado

Justina came out of the gate as one of the top competitors, though she fell a bit down the leaderboard in the middle of the season and climbed her way back up. Only her second dance in the semi-finals got a perfect score all season. But here's the thing about Justina: She's lovable as heck. 


If you can't root for any star of One Day at a Time to win just about anything, then you haven't watched that show properly. Beyond that, Justina herself is just a delight. Her scores haven't been quite as high as Nev or Kaitlyn, but it's been fun and satisfying to see her learn and improve. 

Relive her epic Flashdance moment below!


Gotta be honest here: We love Nelly, but it would make no sense if he wins. He's got the lowest score of all the finalists by more than 20 points and a lower overall score than Johnny Weir and Skai Jackson, who lost in the semi-finals. He's simply not as good of a dancer as the others, and that's fine! But if this show is actually about dancing, he shouldn't win. 


If this show is not about dancing anymore, then sure, give him the win! We've said it before and we'll say once again that we don't know what exactly viewers are supposed to be voting for if voting is only open during the live broadcast. You can vote before most contestants have danced yet and if you're on the west coast, you have to vote before you're even able to watch the show. It's nonsense, and we've seen how much of an impact viewer votes have on who lands in the bottom two. 

Anyway, none of this is to say it wouldn't be fun to see Nelly win. Just look at how happy he was during his jive in the semi-finals!

If we were to place a bet, Kaitlyn and Nev are about to take the top two spots, but anything could happen. 

Dancing With the Stars' season 29 finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.