Dancing With The Stars has brought us 13 unforgettable seasons in the US crowning some of the most amazing and unexpected winners time after time. We’ve seen some celebrities comes out of the wood work to shock and wow us and some have taken one step on the hardwood and fallen to pieces.
Every year, we anticipate who the next 11 victims will be to take on the ballroom and attempt to win the coveted mirror ball trophy. The stars aren’t the only ones who get competitive – the pro dancers also want their chance to lay hands on the trophy.
The show has given pro Derek Hough and three-peat win while Cheryl Burke, Mark Ballas, Julianne Hough and Kym Johnson have all won twice. Favorite resident pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy has never won the trophy but has also come very close. I have compiled a list of all thirteen winning stars and their pros. Check them out and then vote for your favorite couple.
Playboy Playmate of the month Kelly Monaco was the first to receive some mirror ball love in the first season of the show in 2005. She wasn’t a clear front runner at the beginning getting some pretty heavy criticism from judge Bruno and also suffering a near disastrous wardrobe malfunction. However, she managed to sneak past finalist Joey McIntyre and John O’Hurley to win the title.
98 Degrees member Drew Lachey took partner Cheryl Burke all the way to the top in Season 2 of the show. He was a clear front runner the entire competition garnering an impressive 24 on his first performance on the show. He also received the first 10 of the season in week 4. Unheard of. Only getting better as the weeks went on, he beat out Jerry Rice and Stacey Keibler for the coveted mirror ball trophy.
Cheryl Burke was on a role when she took the Season 3 title alongside football star Emmitt Smith. Given the nickname Twinkle Toes from judge Carrie Ann, Emmitt surprised judges week after week that someone with such a big frame could move with so much grace along the ballroom floor. Emmitt edged out Mario Lopez and Joey Lawrence for the win. Wow, tough competition.
Trained to go for Olympic gold, Apolo Anton Ohno wouldn’t settle for anything less than first place. It didn’t hurt that he had an extremely competitive and talented pro by his side to take him all the way. Apolo was a clear front runner from the beginning scoring an amazing amount of 10’s in the last weeks of competition beating out Joey Fatone and Laila Ali.
Lightning struck twice for Julianne Hough as she laid her hands on the mirror ball trophy for the second time with Helio Castroneves. These two had impeccable chemistry that the judges couldn’t deny when scoring these two all season long. The two became early front runners with 23 being their lowest score on the Rumba. That low score brought them back fighting beating Mel B and Marie Osmond.
Mark Ballas found his first mirror ball trophy win with figure skating super star Kristi Yamaguchi. The two were a great pair and their first dance was so good, the judges scored them three 9’s. Kristi’s momentum didn’t stop there garnering her first 10’s in the fourth week of competition. Their Viennese Waltz may have been their downfall but it didn’t stop her from beating Jason Taylor and Christian de la Fuente.
Then model, now co-host of the show, Brooke Burke partnered with Derek Hough took the trophy for season 7. Brooke wasn’t always a clear leader in the competition, jumping to the top and the middle of the leaderboard week after week. But in week 7 of the competition, she really showed that she was in it to win it as she edged out Warren Sapp and Lance Bass for the mirror ball.
Mark got his second mirror ball trophy when he tumbled all the the way to the top with gymnast Shawn Johnson. Like Brooke Burke, Shawn was never a clear front runner. She remained in the middle of the pack for the majority of the competition until about week 9 when she scored her first high scores of the season. Shawn flipped over Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft for the win.
Donny Osmond didn’t only win the mirror ball trophy but also the hearts of Americans in season 9 of the show. Along with partner Kym Johnson, the two’s scores really failed to impress anyone but his star power honestly kept him in the competition until the very end. Working harder every week, Donny pulled out all the stops to edge out Mya and Kelly Osborne for the mirror ball trophy.
Many thought her clear advantage made her win a little unfair, but that didn’t stop Nicole Scherzinger from working hard to prove that she still needed to fight to stay in the competition. Derek Hough pushed her to the limits and pulled out some stellar dances with this Pussycat Doll. Her natural ability made her a front runner all season long beating out Evan Lysacek and Erin Andrews.
Back in the saddle, Jennifer Grey proved she was having the “time of her life” on the dance floor as Derek Hough scored his third Dancing With the Stars win. A clear judge, audience and fan favorite, Jennifer fought to stay in the competition among injuries and pressures of the show. Although she fell to the middle of the pack mid way through the journey, she pulled out a win above Kyle Massey and Bristol Palin.
Hines Ward was a surprise hit. Known for being an aggressor on the football field, Hines along with Kym Johnson scored touchdowns week after week with stellar performances showing that Hines was more than just a football player. He’s integrity, honesty and passion for the show really showed in performances reigning him champion over Kirstie Alley and Chelsea Kane.
I did not see this winner coming. I had actually pegged Ricki Lake or Rob Kardashian for the win. However, America’s hero pulled in the votes making J.R. Martinez the current reigning champion of Dancing With The Stars. This is also partner Karina Smirnoff’s first win of the mirror ball trophy.