Top 10 Winners of Dancing with the Stars

by Lauren Thomas
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credit: Walt Disney Television

Some of us dream of twirling around the ballroom. Others just enjoy watching from the comfort of your couch. Regardless, “Dancing with the Stars” has been a staple for television since 2005. Over the last fifteen years we’ve all become accustom to the wild judges. We love Carrie Ann’s craziness and Bruno’s brashness, never to be outdone by Len’s colorful corrections. But today we’re taking a look back at the very best of those who danced their way to glory and won the mirrorball trophy.

In no particular order, here are our Top 10 Winners of “Dancing with the Stars” (so far).

Jordan Fisher

Like many DWTS Champions, Jordan made his stance as a frontrunner clear early on. He and partner Lindsay Arnold started the competition strong by tying for first place with a tango to Shawn Mendes. Favorite routines include the “Moana” foxtrot for Disney themed week 5. Also, week 8’s trio salsa with former competitor Corbin Bleu. However, one of the best parts of seeing the actor/singer grace our screens weekly was watching the budding friendship between him and his partner.

Drew Lachey

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Drew is the second champ ever to be crowned in DWTS history. The former 98 Degrees boyband member took us all by surprise when he hit the dance floor with partner Cheryl Burke. Best known for their country western themed freestyle, the routine ultimately changed the freestyle layout for DWTS as a whole. This is why Drew made his ability no secret. Ultimately he took home the trophy with very little critique.

Nyle DiMarco

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Nyle is hands down the most remarkable champion in the history of the show. DiMarco, who was born deaf, refused to let his handicap hold him back. Part of the fun of seeing Nyle dance every week was watching his growing friendship with partner Peta Murgatroyd. The couple navigated the obstacles of dancing without a beat every single time and we were constantly in awe. As a result, Nyle’s natural ability rang true and the duo made such challenges look simple. Ultimately, this allowed the model to land the coveted mirrorball in season 22.

Alfonso Ribero

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One of the most notable contestants, and winners, in DWTS lineage. The “Fresh Prince” alum made his desire to dance no secret. This is the man who claimed he’d wanted to be in the ballroom for over a decade. Alfonso and partner Witney Carson didn’t hold back as they tapped in to his musicality and magic in season 19. As a result, they earned straight 9s across the board week 1. Ultimately, it came as no surprise when the former Tap Dance Kid became a DWTS mirrorball champ.

Meryl Davis

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As soon as the Winter Olympics 2014 were over, ice dancer Meryl Davis headed straight to the ballroom. Aside from her expert-level moves, it was the connection with pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy that made all the difference. After flawless performances week to week, it was an emotional contemporary freestyle that brought the win. Maks landed his first mirrorball in 18 seasons and Meryl gained yet another championship to take home.

Nicole Scherzinger

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Nicole is argued to be one of the best celebrity dancers in the competition’s history. The former Pussycat Doll came out of the gate with a fire burning to prove. Pro partner Derek Hough didn’t disappoint. They performed weekly routines increasing in difficulty to best display Nicole’s ability and passion. It paid off when the couple were crowned champions at the end of season 10. As a result, they ultimately went on to hold the legacy as one of the top duos ever to compete on the series.

Shawn Johnson

It was season 8 when Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson first proved her skill as a ballroom dynamo. Paired with pro Mark Ballas, the blonde quickly proved that while small in size, her drive was larger than life. One of the best parts of Shawn’s journey was witnessing her lack of fear for trying something new. Her partner quickly capitalized on this and we as the crowd never got tired of witnessing their glory. As a result, Shawn is known as one of the most entertaining contestants in history. Also, yes, we still watch her routines in repeat.

Apolo Anton Ohno

Another winner from long ago, Apolo made his intentions for mirrorball glory clear from the start. Paired with pro Julianne Hough, the speed skater took advantage of his agility and ability to be coached to the next level. As a result, a notable moment and fan favorite was the duo’s hip hop freestyle routine to Young MC’s “Bust A Move.” While the competition back in season 4 was stiff, ultimately Apolo proved to be the top dog and got the gold.

Bindi Irwin

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As the daughter of an international icon, wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin surprised the world when she landed all 8s week one of the competition. As a result, the trajectory didn’t slow down as she and partner Derek Hough conquered obstacle after obstacle every week. However, it was the heartfelt contemporary freestyle dedicated to her dad that landed them the well-earned victory in season 21.

Kristi Yamaguchi

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As a former figure skater, the public had high expectations for Kristi Yamaguchi. Yet way back in season 6, the gold medalist didn’t let that get to her. Instead, she focused on her partnership with pro Mark Ballas. And the effort paid off when Kristi earned yet another piece of gold to add to her collection on May 20, 2008 when the couple were crowned champions of season 6.

And that’s our list! Let us know what you think. And if you have any suggestions for someone we missed, tell us in the comments!

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