If you’ve not seen tonight’s finale of season 22 of the hit ABC series “Dancing With the Stars” read no further!
The finals came down to a trio of powerhouses: “Good Morning America” meteorologist Ginger Zee, who formerly worked at WMAQ Channel-5 in Chicago; MMA/UFC’s Paige VanZant; and “America’s Next Top Model” champ Nyle DiMarco.
When it was all over, the new champs were DiMarco and his pro partner Peta Murgatroyd. Zee and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy finished third in the competition. Second place finisher VanZandt had been partnered with Mark Ballas.
According to People.com who profiled the three finalists ahead of tonight’s telecast: “Deaf and with no dance background, fans didn’t know what to expect from DiMarco. But straight out the gate, he wowed the judges and won America’s heart. But it’s not just his innate dance ability and triumph over adversity that make DiMarco a possible winner. Along with Murgatroyd, DiMarco has consistently put on a great show. Whether it was turning off the music to give the audience a taste of what it’s like for him while dancing or taking to the dance floor in a blindfold, he found inventive and engaging ways to make great TV.”
USA Today reported after the telecast: Earlier this season, via email, Nyle told us how important it was for him to do well in the competition. “If I screw it up, 18+ million of people would think, ‘Aw, it is because he is deaf. Deaf people can’t dance…’ when there are plenty of #DeafTalent I know out there that can dance.” Nyle rose to the challenge and showed an entire nation what is possible. As he said in our interview, “Anything is re-definable only if we believe and work hard for it.”