SAN DIEGO, November 24, 2015 – In a surprising season with a lot of drama, it was the little ray of sunshine straight from Australia who won the “Dancing With The Stars” Mirror Ball Trophy for Season 21.
Bindi Irwin, 17 years old and the daughter of the late conservationist and TV personality Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, won along with professional partner Derek Hough. It is Hough’s record breaking sixth championship. They follow Season 20 champion Rumer Willis, also the daughter of famous parents, actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, and Val Chmerkovskiy.
The second place finisher was former “Backstreet Boys” singer Nick Carter and professional partner Sharna Burgess; and in the biggest surprise of the season, third place went to American hero Alek Skarlatos and pro partner Lindsay Arnold, who make her first appearance in the DWTS finale with Alek.
Bindi Irwin said after her deeply affecting Freestyle routine on Monday night DWTS had “changed her life.” So many competitors have said the same of their experience on the show before her. “I’ve remembered moments in my life I never thought I could look at and smile… thank you so much,” said Bindi before her final performance on the show.
Hough said there have been over 200 celebrities who have competed on the show, but never anyone like Bindi.
Fans enjoyed one last set of routines, the “24 Hour Fusion Dance.” Nick and Sharna performed a Salsa/Tango fusion to “Turn Up The Music” by Chris Brown, which they saw as redemption for a lackluster Tango earlier in the season. The judges called it “red hot” and “flashy.” The scored 30 points.
Alek and Lindsay danced a Rumba/Tango fusion to “A Sky Full Of Stars” by Coldplay, and you have to wonder why the producers keep assigning him Rumbas over and over. The Tango had a few problems with tangled feet, but he carried on with the same sort of determination he’s shown all season. Carrie Ann Inaba says Alek always danced with “integrity,” and said he did show hip action tonight. It scored 27 points.
Bindi and Derek closed the competition with a Cha Cha/Argentine Tango full of the same attack and joy they have shown all season. “Season 21 has been my favorite season so far and it’s because eof you Bindi Irwin!” said Carrie Ann. “You have been pure joy and consistent from day one,” said Julianne Hough. “You’re a sensation,” said Bruno Tonioli. They scored 30 points.
As the judges’ scores for the final three were so close, with Bindi and Derek and Nick and Sharna tied, and Alek and Lindsay just a few percentage points behind, it was the number of fan votes that determined the eventual winner. It’s statistically possible Alek and Lindsay received more fan votes than the other two couples, but not enough to overcome the judges’ scores.
Just as with disabled veteran Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess last season, Alek and Lindsay were “the people’s champions.” Galloway has been supporting Alek as another servicemember throughout the season.
The finale was loaded with spectacular production numbers, many of which were performed on a special outdoor stage set up at The Grove, an upscale outdoor shopping and entertainment complex right next to CBS Television City in Hollywood where “Dancing With The Stars” is produced. Fans got to The Grove several hours early and waited to see their favorite professional ballroom dancers and performers during the live finale.
Among the performers on the show were singers and former competitors Chaka Khan and Andy Grammer, along with singer Elle King.
Take a look back and read our predictions from September. We did pretty well calling the contenders and pretenders.
The finalists will appear on “Good Morning America” and enjoy a whirlwind of media interviews. Following a brief break, many of the stars from this season and past seasons and many of the professionals will appear in the “Dancing With The Stars Tour” starting on December 15 in West Valley City, Utah and continuing into 2016 in the U.S. and Canada before ending on Valentine’s Day, February 14, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Until the DWTS “Dance All Night Tour” shows up in your town and until Season 22, you’ll have to get your ballroom fix through the wonder of YouTube.
Season 22 starts in March; Communities Digital News will be ready and waiting for the cast announcement. Best of all, judge Len Goodman announced he will be back too.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is president/owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego. In addition to writing about media, she is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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