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In one of its closest seasons to date, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars crowned its 19th winner Tuesday night.
As many have expected all season long, Alfonso Ribeiro took home the acclaimed Mirror Ball trophy during the season 19 finale. The results capped a night that also included special performances by Jennifer Hudson (“Go All Night”), Meghan Trainor (“All About That Bass”) and Nick Jonas, who opened the show with “Jealous.”
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The victory came after an extremely competitive final that saw the generous judges award Ribeiro and pro Witney Carson perfect marks for their Cha Cha Argentine Tango fusion, creating a three-way tie. Fellow finalists Duck Dynasty‘s Sadie Robertson and pro partner Mark Ballas (Samba Quickstep fusion) and Pretty Little Liars‘ Janel Parrish and Valentin Chmerkovskiy (Foxtrot Paso Doble fusion) also earned perfect marks.
Ultimately, after a combination of viewer votes from Monday’s performances and the judges’ scores from Tuesday’s finals, Robertson and Ballas came in second, with Parrish and Chmerkovskiy following in third.
“You were my trophy the entire season,” Parrish told her pro following the results. Veteran dancer Ribeiro, known famously for his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air “Carlton” moves, set the bar high from his debut in Week 1 by earning the highest score of the evening. He maintained his place in the top half of the scoreboard all season long.
Although he suffered back and groin injuries throughout the latter part of the season, the actor vowed to push through the pain to contend for the victory. “We’re in this to try and win it, so I will do what I have to do, and I will deal with whatever I have to deal with to try to win this,” Ribeiro said after his painful week 10 performance.
During the first of DWTS‘ two-night finale on Monday, Ribeiro revealed that performing on the veteran reality series was something he had wanted to do for 10 years. The wait boded well for him — and Carson. The Mirror Ball victory was a first for Carson, whose pairing with Ribeiro came during her second season as a professional.
Check back Wednesday for more comments from the three finalists.
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