Here's Why 'DWTS' Didn't Reveal the 2nd and 3rd Place Pairs During Season Finale (Exclusive)
*Caution: Spoilers Ahead*
Dancing With the Stars crowned the season's big Mirrorball Trophy winner on Monday night, to explosions of silver confetti and a lot of fanfare. However, despite all the excitement, something felt missing.
As the night's finalists -- Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson, Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess, and Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber -- stood side-by-side on the stage at the end of the finale, Tom Bergeron revealed that Rippon and Johnson were the night's big winners, but never revealed who was the season's runner-up and who came in third.
While to some this may seem insignificant, for die-hard DWTS fans this is a serious departure from tradition. Every season, the order of the contestants has been announced, and the placement has always been something of a point of interest for returning pros - especially those like Burgess, who have come very close many times but never won the Mirrorball.
A source close to the DWTS production tells ET that the show didn't reveal which star came in 2nd and who ended up in 3rd because they didn't have time and couldn't run over into the American Idol season finale.
And ABC's official recap -- sent out after the show -- didn't clarify things for fans. While the recap names Rippon as the season's "winner," both Norman and Harding are labeled "Runner-Up."
However, Dancing With the Stars and ABC have not released any official comment at this time regarding the placement of the contestants.
While it's impossible to tell which contestants earned the most votes from viewers at home, if we went solely by the judges' scores for the final episode and the season as a whole, scores a clear placement emerges.
Rippon and Johnson earned a 30 for their Jazz routine and a 28 for their Freestyle, adding up to a total of 58 out of 60 for the night, and season total of 166 out of 170.
Norman and Burgess earned a 27 for their Foxtrot and a perfect 30 for their Freestyle, for a final total of 57 and a season total of 155.
Meanwhile, Harding and Farber scored a 26 for their Viennese Waltz and a perfect 30 for their Freestyle, earning a total of 56 on Monday and a 151 overall, putting her in third place based solely on scores.
While Harding and Norman fought hard for the win, Rippon and Jenna ended up walking away with this season's (smaller, silver) Mirrorball trophies -- and also a life-long bond.
ET's Cameron Mathison caught up with #TeamJustFriends after their victory, and they pair couldn't contain their love and appreciation for one another.
"This has been such an incredible experience, just pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and more than that, getting to meet somebody who I'm gonna be friends with for the rest of my life. It's just been such an incredible experience," Rippon shared.
Check out the video below to hear more.
-- Reporting by Angelique Jackson and Desiree Murphy
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