Your winner of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 23 is…

Your winner of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 23 is…

Which athlete would win DWTS Season 23: the Indy Car driver, NFL receiver, or Olympic gymnast?

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy are the winners of Season 23 on "Dancing With The Stars." Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, November 22, 2016 – Judge Carrie Ann Inaba called it the most competitive season of ballroom dancing ever in 23 seasons of “Dancing With The Stars.”

After Monday’s elimination, it came down to one last dance, the fans’ votes, and the presentation of the Mirror Ball Trophy to either Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold, James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess, or Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy.

The three couples who made it to the Season 23 finals: Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold, James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess, and Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo: ABC
The three couples who made it to the Season 23 finals: Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold, James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess, and Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo: ABC

For the first time ever, three athletes were in the final: an Olympic gold medal winning gymnast, an NFL wide receiver heading for the Hall of Fame, and a Canadian Indy Car driver who survived a horrific accident to race again.

After viewers watched previously eliminated competitors sing and dance (and who doesn’t enjoy another performance of “Ice Ice Baby” from Vanilla Ice, backed up by former Texas Governor Rick Perry?), fans saw the three finalists for the last time.

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess were praised by the judges for the connection between them this season. Photo: ABC
James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess were praised by the judges for the connection between them this season. Photo: ABC

James and Sharna drew two dances that suited him best all season, the Viennese Waltz and Foxtrot. The judges praised the relationship between the partners that enhanced James’ technical dancing skills. They received a perfect score of 40 points.

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold received raves for their energy and choreography this season. Photo: ABC
Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold received raves for their energy and choreography this season. Photo: ABC

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold danced a Quickstep/Jive fusion. It was also a great fit for Calvin’s lighthearted style. It’s impressive how nimble Calvin is despite his height and sheer size. His performance skills have also brightened the ballroom all season. They also earned another perfect score of 40 points.

Judges told Laurie Hernandez she had developed into a skilled mature dancer with Val Chmerkovskiy this season. Photo: ABC
Judges told Laurie Hernandez she had developed into a skilled mature dancer with Val Chmerkovskiy this season. Photo: ABC

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy brought their sharpness and athletic attack to a Foxtrot/Argentine Tango fusion. The judges praised Laurie’s growth as a performer as well as a dancer. Judge Julianne Hough said she was nervous about the ultimate results, because everyone danced so well. One more perfect score of 40 points from the judges made it a perfect end to a perfect season.

With such close scores after the final, less than a two percent spread from highest to lowest, it would come down to the fans to choose the Season 23 Mirror Ball Trophy Champion. But in the end, the fans agree with the judges’ scores.

In third place, Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold.

In second place, James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess.

In first place, Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy.

Season finalists Calvin Johnson, James Hinchcliffe, and Laurie Hernandez. Photo: ABC
Season finalists Calvin Johnson, James Hinchcliffe, and Laurie Hernandez. Photo: ABC

Final Standings

First Place: Laurie Hernandez & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
24-Hour Fusion, Foxtrot/Argentine Tango: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points
Plus Monday’s 78 points = 118 points TOTAL

Second Place: James Hinchcliffe & Sharna Burgess
24-Hour Fusion, Viennese Waltz/Foxtrot: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points
Plus Monday’s 77 points = 117 points TOTAL

Third Place: Calvin Johnson Jr. & Lindsay Arnold
24-Hour Fusion, Quickstep/Jive: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points
Plus Monday’s 75 points = 115 points TOTAL

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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