This evening was the finale episode of season 22 of Dancing with the Stars. And the mirrorball was within reach of three contestants: Nyle DiMarco, Paige VanZant and Ginger Zee.
All three contestants had their charm and strengths. VanZant is an amazing dancer and she has the athletic background to handle the stress. Zee has experience as a TV personality, working on Good Morning America, enthusiasm and Val Chmerkovskiy at her side. And DiMarco has proven since day one that he is always up for a challenge, and has a natural ability to connect with the audience and to move them.
And each contestant had their weaknesses to. VanZant isn’t the best technical dancer, Zee was injured earlier this week which could’ve hurt her chances of winning, and DiMarco, because he is deaf, has timing issues with some routines.
Ultimately it was America’s Next Top Model winner DiMarco who won America’s hearts and took home 1st place! UFC fighter Paige came in second and GMA meteorologist Ginger came in third.
22 must be his lucky number.
Carrie Ann Inaba paid tribute to DiMarco by signing a special message to him.
“Thank you for showing us your beautiful heart when you dance”- Inaba.
I had a feeling DiMarco would win after seeing his freestyle routine last night. He and partner, Peta Murgatroyd, performed a tear jerking contemporary piece to “Sound of Silence.”
“I feel really honored, inspired, and touched, and the reason for that is because our dance is very personal… We had a message to send out there, and at the same time, it wasn’t easy to make the message clear through our dance. So, that means that we were able to accomplish that and much more.”- DiMarco.
Backstage after the performance, Carrie Ann Inaba had this to say about the performance.
“I was awestruck, I think. He took my breath away,” she admitted. “It was more than dance, it was a message. I think that Nyle has come to the arena with something bigger than just trying to win the mirror ball trophy. There’s a power and a force behind him because he’s got this message and I think it’s made the dances more impactful.”- Inaba.
And Peta couldn’t have have been more proud of him. She knew he was going to be a winner from week one.
“He has exceeded every single one of my expectations. From week one, when we went out and did our cha cha, I knew that he was going to be a winner… Whether it’s literally holding the mirror ball or not, he is a winner and he has proved to everybody that anybody can do this show and anybody can dance.”- Murgatroyd.
When Beth “grows up” she wants to see her creations appear on the screen and stage. In her free time, Beth blogs about her love of craft beer and writes screenplays. She received her bachelors in journalism from Youngstown State and received her masters in communication from The University of Akron. She is honored to be a part of the FanFest family.