It was a year marred by painful injuries (bummer about your groin, Alfonso Ribeiro!) and awkward wardrobe malfunctions (pink boas will never mean the same again to Betsey Johnson), but the 19th season finale of Dancing with the Stars Tuesday was no less dramatic.
Ribeiro, who has said he waited 10 years for a moment like this, became the latest amateur to take home the mirror ball trophy. “I cannot believe this!” he told host Tom Bergeron. “I don’t even know what to say! These are happy tears!”
“He deserves this so much,” added his partner, Witney Carson. “He’s one of the most hard-working people I know.”
Second place went to Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson, who thanked God “who brought me so far in this competition.” Hey, Mark Ballas helped, too!
Third place went to Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy. “I honestly am just so lucky to be here standing here next to him,” she told Bergeron. Then, looking at her partner, “You were my trophy during the entire season.”After a night of glitzy performances that included Meghan Trainor, Jennifer Hudson and Nick Jonas, the attention turned to the real task at hand – selecting season 19’s mirror ball trophy winner.
The remaining duos still had some serious competing to do via the fusion dance, which required them to perform two different styles of dance to one song.
And they only had 24 hours to learn it! Here’s how it went:
Robertson and Ballas. The Duck Dynasty star performed a decent – but not particularly extraordinary – samba and quickstep. But the judges were full of praise and 10s for the young hoofer. “Yours is a Cinderella story. You came to the ball having never danced. You met the handsome Prince Charming. You are leaving a dancing princess,” said judge Len Goodman. Score: 40
Parrish and Chmerkovskiy. The Pretty Little Liars star performed a fierce foxtrot and paso combo. “You two together are absolutely amazing,” said judge Bruno Tonioli. Score: 40
Ribeiro and Carson. The actor performed a dynamic and near flawless cha cha and Argentine tango. “We love watching you because your love for dance shows. You are like a glitter ball,” said Carrie Ann Inaba. Score: 40