(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Tuesday’s finale of “Dancing With the Stars”)
“Dancing With the Stars” crowned the winner of Season 22 on Tuesday in spectacular style during a two-hour finale airing live from Los Angeles.
The thrilling season came down to deaf model Nyle DiMarco, UFC fighter Paige VanZant and “Good Morning America” meteorologist Ginger Zee vying for the Mirror Ball trophy on the ABC reality contest.
But in the end there can be only one, and that was ultimately former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant DiMarco.
Once again, the frontrunner and his partner, Peta Murgatroyd, earned a perfect score from the judges, and this time it bagged him the ultimate reward.
Having turned 27 earlier this month, DiMarco is the second-youngest male star to ever win, with only 25-year-old Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno being younger. However, late “Crocodile Hunter” host Steve Irwin’s daughter Irwin won Season 21 at age 17.
After suffering a pelvic injury last week during rehearsals, Zee admirably fought through the pain but sadly her valiant effort wasn’t enough to avoid coming in third place with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
Making the other fan favorites, MMA fighter VanZant and Mark Ballas, the runners-up.
As always, there was plenty of buildup before the big announcements were made, with hip-hop star Pitbull performing with his own set of dancers to “Messin’ Around,” and Fifth Harmony also taking the stage.
Viewers may see even more of Pitbull next season, as Mr. Worldwide told co-host Erin Andrews that he’s interested in coming back as a judge. Whether that’s wishful thinking or an official move by ABC, we will have to wait and see.
ESPN host Kenny Mayne interviewed some of the former and current NFL players who have competed on the show, in his signature deadpan style of course. Super Bowl MVP Von Miller also hosted a game show asking Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold basic trivia questions, which as hilarious as it was dumb.
As for the finalists, they got the chance to admirably show off the skills they’d perfected over the season, including a sexy Cha Cha from DiMarco and Peta. “Thank you for showing us your beautiful heart when you dance,” Carrie Ann Inaba told Nyle using sign language.
VanZant got to flaunt her athletic prowess as well, in a set constructed to look like a UFC Octagon.
Singer Aloe Blacc closed out the night with a performance of “Let The Games Begin,” set to a montage of the season’s best moments. Until next time …
See video of DiMarco being crowned the winner below.