Iman Shumpert becomes first NBA star in history to win ‘Dancing with the Stars’

ABC/Eric McCandless

Iman Shumpert is this year’s champion of Dancing with the Stars, taking home the Mirror Ball Trophy on Monday night’s season finale. Iman’s victory is historical, as he is now the first NBA player to ever compete in the DWTS finals and win it all.

Aside from earning the Mirrorball trophy, Shumpert ended his DWTS journey with two perfect scores for his foxtrot/cha-cha fusion, which saw judge Bruno Tonioli declare him the “king of the ballroom,” and for his Chicago-themed freestyle that was deemed one of the best in show’s history.

Shumpert’s pro dance partner, Daniella Karagach, praised his tremendous improvement over the past season, noting that he was one of the few competitors who never danced “a day in [his] life” and but worked hard to defy all expectations by making it into the finale.

Iman says his status as this season’s underdog fueled his desire to come out on top, and led to him performing never-before-seen stunts on the ballroom floor.

JoJo Siwa, who also made history by becoming the first DWTS contestant to compete with a same-sex partner, came in second. Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby ended the season in third and The Talk co-host Amanda Kloots took fourth place.

The finale also saw a small change at the judges’ table. After Derek Hough tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19 last week, his sister and a former DWTS pro dancer, Julianne Hough, rose to the occasion to fill in for her big brother.

Julianne enjoyed doling out advice and praise to the competitors because, as she said, “I’m so excited to be here in person, so I don’t have to yell at the TV anymore!”

That wasn’t the only welcome return to the ballroom. Contestant Melanie C of the Spice Girls belted out an emotional rendition of the girl group’s pop ballad, “2 Become 1,” as the show revisited some of the season’s most memorable and tear-jerking moments. Country star Jimmie Allen also took the floor to help bring the season to a close, performing his hit “Good Times Roll.”

While another year of Dancing with the Stars may be over, fans can relive the magic of season 30 when the cast hits the road on a nationwide tour, which kicks off January 7, 2022 in Richmond, Virginia. Jimmie, Amanda and last year’s champion, Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, will also be part of the fun.

Tickets are on sale now on the official live tour website.

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