Dancing with the Stars Crowns a New Champion! Get the Details on the Big Finale

Dancing with the Stars has a new mirrorball champion!

Tuesday’s heated season 22 finale saw deaf model Nyle DiMarco, UFC fighter Paige VanZant and Good Morning America meteorologist Ginger Zee vie for glory – but only one could be crowned the winner.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Tuesday’s DWTS finale


After one of the most competitive season in years, DiMarco and and pro Peta Murgatroyd took home the win, edging out runner-ups VanZant and pro Mark Ballas .

“This is such an amazing feeling,” said Murgatroyd in the closing moments of the season. “This whole thing has been so incredible because of this man. I owe everything to him.”

We’re pretty sure Nyle feels the same about you, Peta.

Read on for more highlights from the finale.


Nyle Sheds Tears

Carrie Ann Inaba paid tribute to DiMarco by delivering a message to him in sign language following his stunning final performance. The judge acknowledged the inspirational nature of his entire DWTS journey and managed to deliver perhaps the most emotional moment of the season.

“Thank you for showing us your beautiful heart when you dance,” Inaba signed, causing DiMarco to cry as he embraced his partner.

A day earlier, DiMarco moved Inaba so much that she declared his dance was the best she’d seen during 22 seasons of the show. Consider the compliment repaid.


Paige Goes Out Like a Champ

The DWTS runner-up and Ballas went out strong, earning a perfect 30 out of 30. Though it wasn’t enough to top DiMarco and Murgatroyd, the UFC star said she was happy with her time on the show.

“I’m so thankful I got to have this opportunity and I’m going to remember it forever,” VanZant said.

Len Goodman paid her quite the compliment ahead of the winner being crowned.

“All three finalists are winners, because they’ve made it into such a terrific season,” he said after her final dance. “If this was judged purely on dance, you’re the one to beat.”


Did Ginger Mess Up?

The judges praised the GMA meteorologist, but docked her for what they saw as a mistake – a part in her dance in which she clapped along with the audience. Pro Val Chmerkovskiy argued that it was an intentional choice on their part, but ultimately she got the lowest scores of the night – a still solid 27 out of 30.

“I am so proud and I’m so grateful for Val and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be here,” Zee said after learning she had finished in third. “Im a girl who loves storms and who I hope someone can take away from this that you can be more than one thing.”

What’d you think of the finale? Did your favorite win? Sound off in the comments!

Dancing with the Stars will return in September on ABC.

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