Dancing With The Stars Season 22 concluded this week, crowning Deaf Model and Activist, Nyle DiMarco as the champion. He was joined in the finals by Good Morning America Chief Meteorologist, Ginger Zee and Mixed Martial Artist and UFC Champion, Paige VanZant.
The finals consisted of two nights. The first night, each couple performed two dances – a redemption dance trying to improve on their weakest dance of the season and a freestyle, which is the highlight of the season and usually determines the winner.
Ginger and Val performed a classic Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers routine which was elegant and the perfect showcase for Ginger’s talent. Paige and Mark did a freestyle to Somewhere Over the Rainbow depicting Paige’s triumph over the bullying she experienced as a child. Both were FANTASTIC. But the most powerful freestyle was Nyle and Peta’s modern dance to Sounds of Silence. It was a beautiful and moving performance, unlike any I have ever seen. All three contestants received perfect 10’s on their freestyles!
This was the closest competition in DWTS history! Going into the final night of competition, there was only one point separating each of the finalists. It was going to be up to the audience votes.
On the final night of competition, the couples performed a fusion dance where they had to mix two styles into one dance. And they didn’t know the styles they were getting until AFTER Monday night’s performance! Talk about pressure!
All the dancers did a great job on the fusion. Nyle and Peta and Paige and Mark received perfect 10’s from the judges. Ginger had a slight memory lapse during her dance, resulting in 9’s from the judges, which probably cost her the championship.
In the end, the mirror ball trophy went to Nyle. I had been pulling for Paige and truly thought that she was the best dancer in the competition. However, all three dancers were SO GOOD, that I could be happy seeing any one of them get it.
4 Lessons Learned from Dancing With the Stars
- You can be more than “One Thing”. When Ginger was eliminated, she remarked that she was a scientist and meteorologist, but that this competition also showed her that she was also a dancer.
- You don’t have to be limited by your circumstances. Whoever thought that someone who was deaf and COULD NOT HEAR THE MUSIC could excel at dance? An art that requires hearing to feel the beat and express the mood of the music! Nyle showed that this was not the case and in spite of not being able to hear, he performed beautifully week in and week out.
- Being brave and trying new things opens new doors. Even though Paige did not win, her DWTS experience opened doors for her to appear in a movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Nyle, a Gaullaudet University graduate, was slated to become a Math teacher to deaf students. But stepping out of his comfort zone has opened up a whole new role as activist for the deaf community.
- Even in your defeat, you can have an attitude of gratitude and joy. I saw that sincere gratitude and joy in both Ginger and Paige’s faces. Both accepted their loss with class and graciousness.
So, my Monday nights are now free until the Fall when the new season of DWTS premieres. It is so fun to see the dances, costumes, the improvement and perseverance of these contestants every week.
I will miss my Monday night texting through the show with Michelle from GrammieTime. We have had such fun doing this series together. And we can still be friends since neither of our top choices beat the other’s! (Michelle liked Ginger and I liked Paige). LOL!
Head on over to GrammieTime now to see Michelle’s take on the finals.
What did YOU think of the finals? Were you surprised that Nyle won? Who was your favorite? Leave you answer in the comments section.