TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas are season 31 Mirror Ball trophy champions.
The duo were announced as the winners of the 31st season of “Dancing With the Stars”, defeating fellow celebrities Shangela, Wayne Brady and Gabby Windey, who were paired with professional partners Gleb Savchenko, Witney Carson and Val Chmerkovskiy respectively.
On “Good Morning America” Tuesday, D’Amelio and Ballas opened up about their win.
“I think for me, I really gave it everything I had for this journey and I got so much out of it, whether it’s confidence in my dancing, new friends, you know, memories that I’ll remember forever,” D’Amelio said, adding that she is “so happy” and “grateful” to have had the experience.
Ballas called the experience, his first time in the “DWTS” ballroom in five years, “fantastic”.
“I had a really good time, made a good friend and had a great time creating and dancing with Charli,” he added. “And also being on the floor with all my buddies, I grew up with all of them. I loved it. I had a really good time.”
Before their final battle on the dance floor, which was streamed live on Disney+, the four couples performed a redemption routine chosen by one of the judges. The selected routines were the ones they performed earlier in the season.
Read on to see how the night went.
Show-stopping redemption and freestyle dancing
For their redemption routines, Brady performed the quickstep to “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson, while Shangela took the quickstep to “Queen Bee” by Rochelle Diamante. Each earned a score of 36.
But it was Windey’s Cha Cha on Pete Rodriguez’s “I Like It (Like That)” and D’Amelio’s Jive on Little Mix’s “Grown” that stunned the judges, each with a score of 40.
The last four couples then competed in a freestyle to music. Brady hit the dance floor first with his “Superbowl” routine with his dance partner, Carson, to a mix of Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” and Ciara and Chamillionaire’s song “Get Up,” earning him a 40 .
TikTok star D’Amelio also earned a 40 for her touching freestyle performance of Pinar Toprak’s “Us Again,” which told a story of her love and loss of dance, then love of dance again.
Windey also earned a 40 for her sizzling “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago, which Chmerkovskiy’s wife, Jenna Johnson, choreographed.
But it was Shangela’s exhilarating freestyle to Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” and RuPaul’s “Call Me Mother,” which also featured Shangela’s partner, Savchenko, cross-dressing as Natasha, that stirred up the whole ballroom.
“I forgot to vote because I was absolutely mesmerized by the whole thing,” Len Goodman said at the end of Shangela’s performance.
“It even had chicken in it,” he said, pointing to the moment in their dance when Shangela tossed him a fried chicken leg.
Cheryl Burke says goodbye
Cheryl Burke also hit the dance floor one last time, announcing her retirement from the show over the weekend after 25 seasons.
The two-time Mirrorball champion delivered a fierce routine to Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana (At the Copa)” featuring two of her favorite dance pro partners, Louis Van Amstel and Pasha Pashkov.
Before taking the mic, co-host Tyra Banks called Burke a living legend and said Burke was her first memory of “Dancing with the Stars.”
“This is my family,” Burke began. “Every person who was part of this cast, behind the scenes, prior to today. Every person, thank you for believing in me and thank you for helping me find my voice. You guys have been a part of my identity and I thank every one of you.”
“Pro dancers, celebrities, thank you for pushing me to be the greatest artist I can be. I love you all,” she said as the audience began to chant her name.
Len Goodman gets his own Mirrorball Trophy
Goodman also parted ways, who announced last week that he was quitting “Dancing with the Stars”. The judge, known as the “tough guy” of the show, was honored with a video montage of all of his memorable moments.
“All good things must come to an end,” Goodman said in the video. “It was such a privilege for me to be a part of Dancing With the Stars.”
“I’m going to miss the jurors. Carrie Ann [Inaba] and Bruno [Tonioli]we’ve been together since season 1. And then Derek [Hough], I think he’s brilliant. I loved being a part of it – it was great,” he added. “Thank you so much for letting me be a part of ‘DWTS’. It will always be with me. It was so memorable.”
When the editing ended, co-host Alfonso Ribeiro surprised Goodman with his own Mirror Ball trophy.
“That’s fantastic and thank you so much,” he said as the crowd chanted his name and Inaba, Hough and Tonioli held up their “10” paddleboards. “It’s been so much fun being a part of ‘Dancing With the Stars’. This is definitely the icing on the cake.”
Throughout the evening, past celebrities who have participated in the show also paid tribute to Goodman, including Jerry Springer, Shawn Johnson and Kristi Yamaguchi.
“I remember how hard Mark and I worked on those first 10 of yours, and when it finally came, sheer elation. And my very best wishes for what lies ahead,” Yamaguchi said.
“When I came on the show I was an insecure little girl, and through your guidance, love and support I became a woman,” added Kelly Osbourne, who competed on season 9 of the show. “And I will never be able to thank you enough.”
‘DWTS’ 2023 Tour Lineup Revealed
If you can’t get enough of “Dancing With the Stars”, you may encounter a few on the road when they go on tour.
It was announced during the show that Windey will be performing live during all tour stops in North America. Charli and Heidi D’Amelio, “CODA” actor Daniel Durant and “Jersey Shore” star Vinnie Guadagnino will also perform live in select cities.
“We love it so much, we’re alive, we feel that energy and there’s really nothing that means more to us,” said “Dancing With the Stars” pro Emma Slater. “We can’t wait for you to come see it.”
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