Viewers of Dancing with the Stars were divided in their reactions to Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson’s finale freestyle. The couple, who made it to the top two alongside Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe and pro Artem Chigvintsev, performed a jazz-inspired routine to a remix of the song “Singin’ in the Rain” by District 78. The performance showed off Nev’s ballroom skills and was filled with content, and it concluded with an exciting, rain-soaked ending. However, while viewers applauded the artistic performance, others felt it was very similar to routines performed on the show in the past.
Nev and Jenna honored icon Gene Kelly as they sported yellow rain jackets and umbrellas and used them as props. As they shed their toppers, their matching blue outfits were revealed. The duo danced in-sync and their presentation was spectacular. Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli awarded them 10s for a total of 30 points, which was added to the tally for Jenna and Nev’s prior routine, a tribute to the movie Black Swan which also earned them perfect scores.
Fans took to the comments section of an Instagram post shared by the show and applauded the couple for all their hard work. Some appeared to believe that there was something familiar about the performance and likened it to a freestyle from an earlier season done by Witney Carson and Milo Manheim. They also claimed it was close to a dance crafted by Derek Hough for Bethany Mota. Others felt it was original and exciting, and noted that it suited the Catfish star, with Jenna nailing the difficult choreography.
Viewers cited Witney and Milo’s freestyle, where they danced to the song “Ain’t No Sunshine” and used umbrellas and a water feature at the end, as seen on YouTube here. Longtime fans claimed that Bethany Mota and Derek Hough also did a dance routine with a similar theme in Season 19, also viewable on YouTube.
“Let’s NOT compare them to Milo and Witney. They’re all talented,” penned one fan, who added their remarks to a chain of comments on Instagram which claimed that the routines were too similar.
“If anything they copied Bethany and Derek’s. Milo and Whitney were not inspired by Singin’ in the Rain. Regardless neither Derek nor Whitney invented using umbrellas,” wrote a second follower.
“I mean I see what you’re saying but Nev and Jenna decided to do a dance inspired by Singin in the Rain so all the umbrella and rain choreography came from that,” wrote a third user.
All the comments were in agreement regarding one thing: they felt the twosome should have won the season.
“They win in my book! They were always entertaining and Nev is a spectacular dancer. Bravo Jenna for your hard work,” remarked a fourth supporter.