‘Dancing with the Stars’ Recap: Underdog Iman Shumpert Rises to Take Home the Trophy
Season 30 of Dancing with the Stars is officially over. This season was filled with tears, Covid-19 scares, and breakout stars. After elevan weeks of stunning performances, Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach have officially won the Mirrorball trophy, narrowly beating frontrunners JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson.
“I am the first and only NBA player to make it to the finale, boy does it feel good. Now I’m being full blown respected as a dancer,” said Iman before taking to the floor one last time. He can now say he has made history as the first former NBA player to ever win Dancing with the Stars.
JoJo and Iman each earned perfect scores from the judges for their two dances tonight, so the decision came down to America’s votes. Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke earned a score of 76 for both dances, earning third place once the fan votes were counted. Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten earned a combined score of 78 for their final two dances, earning fourth place once fan votes were counted.
“Iman has been one of the most improved competitors on the show and that is what the show is all about,” said Daniella before their first dance of the night. “Taking someone who’s never danced a day in their life and making them into a dancer.”
The pair first took on an energized Cha Cha and Foxtrot fusion dance to “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.
“I can’t wrap my head around this at the top of the show you said you were an underdog and sometimes underdogs bite back and that’s what you’ve done,” said head judge, and toughest Iman critic, Len Goodman after their first dance of the night. He awarded them the “ten from Len” after stating he “never though this would happen.”
For their final dance of the season, Iman and Daniella absolutely destroyed the dance floor with a tribute to Iman’s home city of Chicago (he even had “Chi” braided into his hair to represent.) Their freestyle medley to “Lose Control” by Missy Elliot feat. Ciara and Fat Man Scoop and “Bounce” by DJ Clent brought energy and skill that this ballroom has never seen.
“I will go on record right now and say that was my favorite freestyle I’ve ever seen in 30 seasons,” said guest judge Julianne Hough.
Before parting ways, Iman and Daniella showed us their softer side. The two said they would be holding onto each other’s phone numbers and walking away as friends.
“He was the perfect person for me to try new things with because he’s just a fearless and very open person,” said Daniella.
Before the winners were announced, a montage of family videos played relaying special videos to each of the finalists. Family and friends shared how proud and excited they were to see these stars in the finals.
“We do have room in the case for a mirrorball trophy,” said Iman’s mom who sat in front of a trophy case along with his father.
JoJo Siwa, Jenna Johnson Take Second Place
Not to be overlooked, JoJo and partner Jenna Johnson also had an impressive and inspirational night following a record-breaking season. They earned more perfect scores than any other couple this season and are, of course, the first same-sex couple to ever compete on the show. This groundbreaking feat has no doubt inspired others to follow in their footsteps.
“Being the first ever same-sex couple, I think people didn’t know what to expect and winning the mirrorball wouldn’t be just winning for us,” JoJo said. “It’s winning it for so many people around the world who maybe are afraid to be themselves, but I want to tell everyone no matter who you are, no matter who you love, you can dance with who you want to dance with because you were born the way you are.”
Although she didn’t take home the trophy, JoJo and Jenna have undoubtedly changed the show and the world forever. They earned perfect scores for both dances tonight, performing first a Tango and Cha Cha fusion dance to “I Love It” by Icona Pop feat. Charli.
“I feel safe with the future because you are such an incredible role-model with role-models like you we are gonna be ok,” said judge Carrie Ann.
After their final performance, a freestyle dance to “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga that looked like the ending number to the next greatest female adventure film, judge Bruno Tonioli had some touching words for the pair.
“Honestly honey,” he said. “I wish you were around when I was a kid, it would have made it so much better for all of us.”
Stars Return for Historic Season 30 Finale
All 15 of the show’s season 30 celebrities returned to the ballroom to dance one final number together. The season 30 pro dancers also came together to perform one last dance to “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard. To spice things up, Melanie C also sang her iconic “2 Become 1” by the Spice Girls before CMA Award winner Jimmie Allen performed his single “Good Times Roll.”
Judge Derek Hough, who tested positive for Covid-19 last Tuesday also joined via video from quarantine.
“I’m feeling great, I definitely turned a corner,” he said. “I want to give a shout out to all the pros this season, it’s a huge responsibility to take on.”
Although he did not get to judge during the finale, he made sure the stars knew how proud he was off all the hard work that went into this season.
“You all made this one of the most competitive seasons I’ve ever seen,” he said.
If you missed tonight’s show, you can watch the finale and all episodes from this season on Hulu tomorrow morning. The pros will be hitting the road to dance on tour this winter, so be sure to get your tickets now to keep the DWTS fun going.