- Ten weeks of intense competition have culminated in the official crowning ceremony for the “Dancing With the Stars” winner.
- Iman Shumpert and Jojo Siwa were among the competitors for Monday’s Season 30 Finale. Amanda Kloots was also there.
- Shumpert and dance partner Daniella Karagach were named winners of the Mirrorball trophy.
In a stunning “Dancing With the Stars” finale, NBA basketball star Iman Shumpert was crowned champion in the reality dance competition.
Shumpert, who won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers, referred to himself as the underdog in the competition during Monday night’s show. But the 6-foot-5 baller beat out a cast of experienced celebrity dancers in the wild finale that included heavy-favorite JoJo Siwa, dancer and fitness instructor Amanda Kloots and Peloton pro (and onetime pro dancer) Cody Rigsby.
Host Tyra Banks kept the suspense beyond the show’s final moments, holding off announcing the winner between finalists Siwa, 18, and Shumpert, 31, until the program credits ran. Then even Banks was shocked as she read from the card in her hand, screaming, “Oh my God!” Shumpert was then announced.
After 10 weeks of grueling competition, the basketball star was the seemingly improbable winner. As confetti fell on the contestants, exuberant pros dancers and other contestants crowded the dance floor lifting Shumpert up onto their shoulders together with Daniella Karagach, his partner pro.
As judge Len Goodman said earlier in the show following the first of Shumpert’s energetic finals dance : “You call yourself an underdog, sometimes underdogs bite back.”
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Shumpert’s second freestyle dancing was his best. It was an irrepressible freestyle dance that had the crowd in the ballroom unleashed and the slack-jaw judges reaching for superlatives.
“What happened in the ballroom?” said Banks after the dance, calling a brief time out. Banks said, “Let’s catch our breath!”
Judge Julianne Hough, sitting in for her COVID-19 stricken brother Derek Hough said: “I will go on the record, that was my favorite freestyle I have ever seen.”
Hough attempted to crawl on the tables of the judges in order to cheer. However, she gave up because her formal attire made it difficult. Bruno Tonioli made fun of Hough by fanned to her in an amusing gesture.
Background:Derek Hough was diagnosed with COVID-19 before the finale of “Dancing With The Stars”.
More:Judge Derek Hough resigns from ‘DWTS 3’ due to “potential COVID exposure”
Goodman was prescient once again in his assessment of the second dance, calling Shumpert’s growth on the show as a book being written. “You don’t know the final results until you turn the last page,” said Goodman. “And that last page is only minutes away.”
Shumpert’s partner in dance Shumpert was awarded perfect scores by the judges, awarding Shumpert a perfect score of 80.
Shumpert, the husband of singer Teyana Taylor, is the first NBA player to win the mirrorball trophy. Siwa, who was the first celeb competitor to be a samesex dance partner as Jenna Johnson made history, was defeated by him.
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Siwa’s second freestyle dance to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” wearing a two-piece outfit modeled after a mirror ball, wasn’t enough to clinch her the trophy.
Siwa, who came out as gay earlier this year in January, said earlier in the night that “winning the mirror ball is not just winning it for me and for us, it’s winning it for so many people around the world.”
JoJo Siwa speaks out about her experience as a member of the LGBTQ community“I’m just so happy”
Rigby, who was with Cheryl Burke as his partner, said that he was delighted to have finished third and was pleased to witness Shumpert take the crown. “Iman has made great strides this season.”
“The Talk” co-host Kloots, who lost her husband Nick Cordero following a long battle with COVID-19 in July, came in fourth place in the competition with partner Alan Bersten. After the show, she smiled about Shumpert’s victory.
They were our collective root. Kloots said that they worked hard. It was exciting.