Adam Rippon makes history by winning Dancing With the Stars
Adam Rippon has won Dancing with the Stars, becoming the show’s first openly gay winner.
The Olympic medallist cruised to victory after a series of dominant performances with his partner, professional dancer Jenna Johnson.
The 28-year-old ice skater led from the start and scored highest with the judges again in Monday night’s final, gaining a total of 58 out of 60 points.
A stunning jazz routine to Broadway classic “Anything You Can Do” garnered a maximum score and a standing ovation from the audience.
And though the pair’s freestyle dance to Pitbull and DJ Kass’ remix “Scooby Doo Pa Pa” proved less popular, a 28 from the judges was enough to secure the Mirrorball trophy.
Before his freestyle performance at the end of the season’s four-week run, Rippon said: “The Mirrorball has now taken on a new meaning. I never thought somebody like me would be accepted, but I really feel loved.”
The Olympian, who used the excellent hashtag “#TeamJustFriends” on the show, said he was “so grateful for this whole experience.”
Rippon had a spectacular Games on and off the ice while becoming – as he put it – “America’s sweetheart.”
He won a bronze medal as Eric Radford was becoming the first ever openly gay man to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
The figure skater was also embroiled in Sally Field’s attempts to set him up with her son, director Sam Greisman, during the Winter Games.
And the athlete has spoken openly about his celebrity crushes since the Olympics, telling Ellen DeGeneres – who he is reportedly set to make a reality show with – that he’s attracted to Harry Styles and Shawn Mendes.
However, he has since placed himself at 4.5 on the Kinsey scale – a way of defining sexuality – meaning he sees himself as “predominantly homosexual” and halfway between “incidentally heterosexual” and “more than incidentally heterosexual.”
In March, Rippon revealed what he had planned now that the Olympics are over.
“I want to be on television,” the skater said. “I really like engaging with people, I really like making people laugh.”
Speaking about DeGeneres, he said: “When I was young and coming out, I really looked to her story because I felt like in her career she faced… backlash for coming out and there was a push against her.
“She kept her head down and she worked hard and now she’s one of the most recognisable and beloved people in America.”
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“I think she’s funny, I think she’s engaging,” he added.
“And I had the chance to meet her and be on her show and I was like, ‘I love this.’ I think she is so great and she has followed a path that I would love to follow.”
He said that eventually, “I want people to be like, ‘Adam Rippon is hilarious and we love him and did you know that he went to the Olympics?’”
Watch the moment Rippon won the title: