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And The Winner Of "DWTS: Athletes" Is...?

SPOILER ALERT: On Monday night’s finale of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: Athletes edition, out Olympian and self-proclaimed "America's sweetheart" Adam Rippon took home the mirror-ball trophy becoming the Season 26 champion.

Rippon and his pro partner Jenna Johnson had to go head-to-head with fellow Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber, and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess

Rippon and Johnson were tasked with two final dance styles: jazz and freestyle. 

The jazz dance (performed to the Broadway classic “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun), was a pure show biz routine that brought the audience to their feet and received a perfect score from the judges. 

 

 

“It was so exquisitely theatrical,” judge Bruno Tonioli gushed. “Technically, it was brilliant. Your timing and partner work is flawless.”

But the Asian-inspired freestyle fan dance (set to DJ Kass’ “Scooby Doo Pa Pa”) complete with vogueing, fan-snapping and more received a slightly mixed reaction scoring 9s and 10s for a 28 out of 30.

The judges read on the freestyle was perplexing in that it was full of very specific style and Team Rippon were definitely on fire from the get-go.

 

 

As a dancer and choreographer myself, I was floored at the complexity of the dance routines. And not only Team Rippon’s.

NFL-er Josh Norman absolutely killed in his football-inspired freestyle to “Walk On Water” by 30 Seconds To Mars. Not only difficult choreography, but he was dancing in formations with several other dancers and totally on point!

And it didn’t hurt that he performed the number shirtless and ended up under a shower ;)

Even Tonya Harding came out guns blazing with her disco-themed turn to “Hush Hush; Hush Hush” by The Pussycat Dolls.

But in the end, the prophecy of the season’s first night cha-cha to RuPaul’s “Sissy That Walk” came to fruition as Adam and Jenna were named the champions. 

This is Johnson’s first win on DWTS in only two seasons with the dance show.

“The Mirrorball has now taken on a new meaning, someone like me is accepted and I feel loved,” Rippon shared before his freestyle routine.

Rippon is the first openly gay winner of Dancing with the Stars. Congrats, Adam!

DWTS: Adam Rippon Soars To The Top With Stunning Contemporary Dance

Believe it or not, we have just one week left in this “Athletes-only” edition of Dancing with the Stars, and Olympic bronze medalist (and self-proclaimed “America’s sweetheart”) Adam Rippon is crushing it.

I’ve been pulling for Adam from day one and he hasn’t disappointed. 

Charming, self-deprecating and hard-working as hell, Rippon has been everything the TV show’s producers could have wanted.

Performing a contemporary dance last night to “O” by Coldplay (which Adam knows uber-well since he skated to it at the Winter Olympics), Team Rippon came to slay, and slay they did.

Gorgeous choreography (I’m glad Carrie Ann pointed out later how deceptively challenging the steps were), complete commitment and detailed execution made the bird-inspired dance take flight.

And the judges agreed.

DWTS season 24 runner-up David Ross: “By far my favorite dance of the night.”

Judge Len Goodman: “It had great control mixed with flair. It’s the best dance I’ve seen tonight. Well done.”

Judge Bruno Tonioli: “You were like two birds of paradise - mesmerizing and enchanting. It’s impossible to tell who is the professional. This is a masterpiece of a dance.”

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba: “I love that you push yourself that hard. I just wanted to thank you. This is why artists create - to have moments like this. Where it’s just pure perfection.”

Team Adam received the evening’s high-score 39-of-40, which he dedicated to his mom, saying afterward: “The only thing that I’m thankful for is that I’m a beautiful crier.”

From where I stand, the mirror-ball trophy is Adam’s to lose. He’ll face off in the finals next week against fellow-figure skater Tonya Harding, and Washington Redskins defensive back Josh Norman.

Watch Adam and Jenna’s contemporary dance below:

 

 

Last night also featured a salsa “ballroom battle” between woofy Olympic luger Chris Mazdzer and the NFL’s Josh Norman.

Both did great but how could I pass up a another chance to gaze again upon Mazdzer’s furry goodness? 

He knows what he’s working with. Just saying…

 

 

Adam Rippon's High-Flying DWTS Quickstep Lands At The Top Of The Scoreboard

Out figure skater Adam Rippon and partner Jenna Johnson took on the uber-challenging Quickstep in serious style on last night’s episode of Dancing with the Stars.

In the pre-performance video, Rippon shared that his grueling ‘Stars on Ice’ tour schedule has him flying all over the country while Johnson travels with him everywhere to rehearse. 

It’s airports, hotels, skating performances, 5 hour dance rehearsals, 3-4 hours of sleep a night, then rinse and repeat. 

But a busy schedule and sleep deprivation did not stand in the mighty Rippon’s way. 

Set to “Make Way” by Aloe Blacc, the duo delivered near perfection receiving 37 out of a possible 40 points. That made for a tie, with skating pal Mirai Nagasu and her pro partner Alan Bersten, for the night’s high score.

 

 

The judges gushed.

Bruno Tonioli: “No messing around, no distractions! Absolutely fantastic dancing all the way through. Your timing is impeccable.”

Len Goodman: “So much content, so much speed, but so much clarity of movement. Well done!”

Carrie-Ann Inaba: “You better work. So tight!”

“That was stunning," said guest judge Rashad Jennings. Although Adam’s snazzy red and black suit took the former NFL player aback: “This outfit though. Did you pick this outfit?”

“I actually stole it from your trailer,” sassed Rippon without missing a beat. “We’re the same size. Nobody knew that.”

After the performance, Rippons told Fox News his new fine Finnish boyfriend, Jussi-Pekka Kajaala, will be moving from Finland to Los Angeles to be with him.

"I live here in L.A. already but he's in the process of moving here. He lives in Helsinki right now," Rippon explained.

"He's coming as soon as the ['DWTS'] show is over. He's been to L.A. a bunch of times since the Olympics."

 

Good boys Finnish first

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Adam Rippon & 5 Other Delicious Dudes on 'DWTS' This Season

Adam Rippon has had quite the busy week, as he was first in Los Angeles last night to be part of the 2018 GLAAD Media Awards (and met Britney Spears in the process), before heading back to the east coast on Thursday where it was revealed that he was one of ten athletes competing on season 26 of Dancing with the Stars.

This is the first season where the show is strictly reserved for iconic athletes to compete.  Adam is the only LGBTQ athlete in the running for the coveted mirrorball trophy (Caitlyn Jenner was rumored to be part of it but didn't make it this time around.)  He is joined by a bevy of talented pros, including Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch and his fellow figure skater Mirai Nagasu

Although each season has a good amount of hunky dudes gyrating all over the dance floor, season 26 seems to be a step above the rest in terms of how smoking hot this group is, both on the athletic and professional dancer side. 

Here are five delicious dudes that you should look out for both in dance and sexy form before the new season premieres April 30th on ABC.

Adam Rippon (Olympic figure skater): paired with Jenna Johnson (Dancer)

Keo Motsepe (Dancer), paired with Jennie Finch (Olympic softball player)

 

It’s so hot in Hollywood Florida #dwtstour #dwtslivetour #dwtslightupthenighttour

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Chris Mazdzer (Olympic luger) paired with Witney Carson (Dancer)

Alan Bersten (Dancer) paired with Mirai Nagasu (Olympic figure skater)

Johnny Damon (Former MLB player) paired with Emma Slater (Dancer)

 

 

 

Adam Rippon Will Be On The Next Season of 'Dancing With The Stars'

Dancing With The Stars upcoming season has a specific theme to it, as it will be all athletes competing.  Two in particular that we will be focused on will be figure skaters Adam Rippon (who just took home bronze at the 2018 Winter Games) and Tonya Harding (who allegedly hired someone to take out fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan's knee back in the 90's).

Although the cast won't be officially revealed until April 13th, US Weekly dished the scoop that these two will be some of the ten that are competing for the coveted mirrorball trophy.  

Other rumored contestants to join DWTS' upcoming season include Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson and Olympic softball champ Jenny FinchThe National Enquirer reported that the producers of the show were looking to cast Caitlyn Jenner for season 26, but there haven't been any rumblings about her joining since word got out back in January.

Who are you rooting for the most out of this rumored group?  Do you think its wise for the show to bring Tonya on given her checkered past?