Ever since their first cha-cha dance to RuPaul’s iconic club song “Sissy That Walk,” Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson were the favorites to win the Mirrorball trophy on Dancing With the Stars: Athletes. Now, Rippon and Johnson fulfilled that dream and won the competition on last night’s (May 21) episode.
The two rejoiced over their win for good reason; Rippon was the first openly gay man to take home the prize, and this was Johnson’s first win after being on the show for only two seasons. “Winning the Mirrorball has now taken on a new meaning, someone like me is accepted and I feel loved,” Rippon said before the pair’s freestyle dance routine.
In another clip before their first dance routine of the evening, Johnson went as far as to say that Rippon should consider a career in dance. “Every day, to see him progress, I think he was supposed to be a dancer,” she said.
The duo earned their trophy that night by excelling in their two performances. Their first dance, a jazz routine to the Broadway classic “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun, was a stunning routine that brought the audience to their feet and received a perfect score from the judges. “It was so exquisitely theatrical,” judge Bruno Tonioli told the pair. “Technically, it was brilliant. Your timing and partner work is flawless.”
Their second dance of the night, a gay-as-hell freestyle to DJ Kass’ “Scooby Doo Pa Pa” featuring vogueing, fan-snapping and more, did not impress the judges as much. “I can’t fault you for what you did, but I feel like I was missing something,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba. “There were moments where I saw you (Adam) blank out a little bit.” The pair still ended up with a 28 out of 30.
Watch Rippon and Johnson’s full trophy-winning performances below: