David Ross came out swinging, but it appears it wasn’t enough to get a “W” on “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday night.
The retired Cubs catcher came in second place in his quest for yet another championship victory, with he and partner Lindsay Arnold falling to NFL running back Rashad Jennings and partner Emma Slater for the coveted Mirrorball trophy.
Ross and Arnold’s total score had left them in third place heading into the finale, but it appears the popular vote was enough to lift them into second.
In a result that seemed to stun judges and hosts of the show, Normani Korei and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy came in third place. The duo had long been favorites to win the show.
“I’ve got no words,” Tom Bergeron said as the couple walked off the stage.
Each couple in the finale had 24 hours to come up with a fusion dance performance. Ross and Arnold danced to "Living" by Bakermat ft. Alex Clare.
Judge Len Goodman called it a "proper fusion," saying "watching you gives me joy."
The dance earned the duo a score of 36 out of 40.
"Whatever happens tonight, to me you always are the people’s champion," said Judge Bruno Tonioli.
Ross had finally earned his home run the dancing competition Monday night, spinning his way to a perfect score during the pair’s baseball-themed freestyle dance.
“Week one I said, ‘David, not a home run but you got to first base’ and every week after that I’ve been waiting for you to come out and knock it out of the park,” said Judge Len Goodman. “The only thing missing was a beer and a hot dog. That was fantastic.”
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba called it Ross’ “personal best.”
The dynamic duo had earlier performed their “redemption dance” by redoing their Viennese waltz.
During rehearsals for the show, Ross admitted in a phone call with his family that he didn’t expect to be in the finale.
“Daddy didn’t think he was going to be on the show this long,” he is heard telling his children.
Goodman said Ross’ time on the show has been a “truly Cinderella story.”