Mark Ballas could get a pretty special 30th birthday present!
The Dancing with the Stars pro and partner Paige VanZant are among the three couples who could take home season 22’s coveted Mirrorball trophy when the results of Monday’s performance finale are announced on Tuesday night.
Whether tonight proves a third-time charm for Ballas (who took home the trophy in seasons 6 and 8) remains to be seen – but the pro’s track record shows that he has plenty to celebrate regardless.
Below, in honor of his 30th birthday, we run down the highlights of Ballas’ “Perfect 30” performances.
Ballas, and VanZant have wowed the judges to straight 10s three times this season, including a Disney Night jive and a semifinals samba. But their final performance of the season – a freestyle routine to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – brought Ballas himself to tears. “I’ve been on this show 18 seasons in a row, and I’m so proud,” he said.
You never forget your first perfect score. In Ballas’ debut season, he and partner Sabrina Bryan earned top marks in week 4 for this propulsive paso.
After just one season in the ballroom, Ballas took home his first Mirrorball back in 2008 alongside season 6 partner Kristi Yamaguchi. The pair established their front-runner status early, with a rambunctious jive to Little Richard’s “Rip It Up” in week 6. They reprised the routine in the finale and netted across-the-board perfect scores for a cha cha to Lionel Richie‘s “Dancing on the Ceiling” and a freestyle to “Workin’ Day and Night” by Michael Jackson.
The King of Pop helped Ballas become the King of the Ballroom once again in 2009. He picked up his second win in season 8 with Olympic gymnastics phenom Shawn Johnson. In the season’s penultimate performance show, judge Bruno Tonioli called Johnson “queen of the night” and said she “performed the maximum purity of each dance.” The next week, they would go on to score straights 10s with a freestyle to Basement Jaxx’s “Do Your Thing” and a cha cha to Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” – but this tango was where their winning streak began.
More recently Ballas’ season 21 partnership with Alexa PenaVega was incredibly strong. The same week they shone in a contemporary routine to Ed Sheeran’s "Make It Rain," they were partnered with eventual winners Derek Hough and Bindi Irwin for a big, brassy Broadway cha cha.
In season 12, Disney vet Chelsea Kane and Ballas excelled with a week 9 rumba and a week 10 freestyle – but they were absolutely magical in the finale thanks to a gliding routine to John Williams‘ Harry Potter signature “Hedwig’s Theme.”
After a strong partnership throughout season 14, Ballas and opera singer Katherine Jenkins absolutely crushed the finals with straight 10s for all three of their routines: a freestyle to Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing),” a jive to “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin and this thrilling paso.
Developing his reputation for creativity, Ballas turned in a futuristic freestyle routine with Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman in season 16. The week before, they’d propelled themselves into the top four with a sensual rumba that judge Len Goodman called “tasty and refreshing.”
And One to Grow on!
Why stop at 30 when you can score 40? In fact, working with Sadie Robertson landed Ballas in season 19’s runner-up spot, and they scored two perfect 40s in the finale with an inventive freestyle routine to the Super Mario Bros. theme and this samba/quickstep combo.
• With reporting by CHANCELLOR AGARD
Dancing with the Stars‘ 22nd season concludes Tuesday night, starting at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.