SPOILER ALERT: On Monday night’s finale of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: Athletes edition, out Olympian and self-proclaimed "America's sweetheart" Adam Rippon took home the mirror-ball trophy becoming the Season 26 champion.
Rippon and his pro partner Jenna Johnson had to go head-to-head with fellow Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber, and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess
Rippon and Johnson were tasked with two final dance styles: jazz and freestyle.
The jazz dance (performed to the Broadway classic “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun), was a pure show biz routine that brought the audience to their feet and received a perfect score from the judges.
“It was so exquisitely theatrical,” judge Bruno Tonioli gushed. “Technically, it was brilliant. Your timing and partner work is flawless.”
But the Asian-inspired freestyle fan dance (set to DJ Kass’ “Scooby Doo Pa Pa”) complete with vogueing, fan-snapping and more received a slightly mixed reaction scoring 9s and 10s for a 28 out of 30.
The judges read on the freestyle was perplexing in that it was full of very specific style and Team Rippon were definitely on fire from the get-go.
As a dancer and choreographer myself, I was floored at the complexity of the dance routines. And not only Team Rippon’s.
NFL-er Josh Norman absolutely killed in his football-inspired freestyle to “Walk On Water” by 30 Seconds To Mars. Not only difficult choreography, but he was dancing in formations with several other dancers and totally on point!
And it didn’t hurt that he performed the number shirtless and ended up under a shower ;)
Even Tonya Harding came out guns blazing with her disco-themed turn to “Hush Hush; Hush Hush” by The Pussycat Dolls.
But in the end, the prophecy of the season’s first night cha-cha to RuPaul’s “Sissy That Walk” came to fruition as Adam and Jenna were named the champions.
This is Johnson’s first win on DWTS in only two seasons with the dance show.
“The Mirrorball has now taken on a new meaning, someone like me is accepted and I feel loved,” Rippon shared before his freestyle routine.
Rippon is the first openly gay winner of Dancing with the Stars. Congrats, Adam!