SAN DIEGO, May 24, 2016 – “Dancing With The Stars” gave fans two hours of music and dance, top entertainers, flashbacks to favorite dance routines and visits from all the competitors of Season 22. Throw in an audience packed with celebrities and visits from previous competitors and Mirror Ball Trophy champions. Impressive, right?
Come on, who are we kidding? Everyone politely waited for the final minutes of the show to find out who would take home the Season 22 Mirror Ball Trophy: Ginger Zee, Nyle DiMarco, or Paige VanZant.
All three couples in the Season 22 finals of “Dancing With The Stars” were in contention after night one, with Paige and pro Mark Ballas in first place with 118 points total, and Nyle and Peta Murgatroyd and Ginger and Val Chmerkovskiy tied for second, four points back with 114 points.
In the two hour show we knew we were in for a whole lot of padding. But we were thrilled to see the special return appearance of Sasha the Crab. We can’t ever get enough.
After all the guest performers which included Pitbull, Fifth Harmony, Dan and Shay, and Aloe Blacc, plus some silly comedy routines (do we really need a dumb blonde dancer skit?) and dance moves, the three finalists participated in the final element of competition on Tuesday, the “24-Hour Fusion Challenge.” The remaining couples fused two contrasting dance styles in less than 24 hours to earn a few more judges’ points.
Ginger and Val performed an Argentine Tango/Foxtrot, and it had one obvious misstep by Ginger, which Val laughed off as “dancer’s choice.” It was the opened the judges needed to place her third, scoring 27 points.
Nyle and Peta combined a Tango/Cha Cha, and it brought back the best moves from their amazing season. The judges loved it, with Carrie Ann signing her comments to an emotional Nyle. It received 30 points.
Paige and Mark put together a Salsa/Jive, perfectly suited to their strengths. Now that Paige has command of the steps, she’s learned how to perform and sell the routine. No surprise it also received a perfect score of 30 points.
As the three stood on the stage host Tom Bergeron revealed that Ginger and Val finished in third place. A gracious Ginger said, “I’m so proud, so grateful for Val, I’m a girl who loves storms and who I hope someone can take away from this you can be more than one thing, a meteorologist who can dance!” Val said, “She’s an ordinary girl doing extraordinary things,” praising her work ethic and attitude.
In the final moments, as host Tom Bergeron reminded us, the hours of rehearsal and hard work came down to a final announcement: The winner of “Dancing With The Stars” Season 22 is Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd. Winning the Mirror Ball Trophy is a real accomplishment, something the champion is recognized for the rest of his or her life.
But consider that a deaf man becomes the winner, the first winner out of many talented competitors who also did it despite a personal challenge making it all the more difficult. The real winner in the opinion of many is Nyle’s talented professional partner Peta Murgatroyd who figured out exactly the right way of teaching a man who could not hear but who possessed more than enough physical and emotional talent to win to dance. Bravo Peta, this trophy is truly yours.
Elated fans sent congratulations, including Oscar winning deaf actress Marlee Matlin, and Peta’s former DWTS partner and Mirror Ball Trophy winner, NFL star Donald Driver.
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas took second place. Paige summed up her experience saying “I’m so grateful I got this opportunity, I’m going to remember it forever.” Paige, all DWTS fans will remember it too.
Nyle and Peta will now make the mad dash across the country overnight to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” make the media rounds, and then take a much deserved break. The rest of the pros, troupe, and celebrities will get on with their summer assignments whether touring dance shows or their own projects.
As for the rest of us, until Season 23 thank goodness for YouTube and “So You Think You Can Dance.” See you in September!
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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