Two weeks ago Gold Derby asked our readers to name the best male champion in “Dancing with the Stars” history, and the results are in: model Nyle DiMarco, the reigning champ who won the Mirror Ball Trophy in season 22 this past spring with pro partner Peta Murgatroyd, is the best of the best. (Scroll through all 22 past winners of “DWTS” above.)
DiMarco received 30% of the vote. Among the other “DWTS” champions he defeated his closest competitor was actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who won season 19 and got 22% of reader votes; DiMarco and Ribeiro received more support from our readers than the other eight men combined. In third place with 15% of the vote was Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, who prevailed in season four. Those were the only three who scored over 10%.
Football player Emmitt Smith (season three) and race car driver Helio Castroneves (season five) both finished with 8%, followed by singer Drew Lachey (season two) with 7%, actor Donny Osmond (season nine) with 4%, football player Donald Driver (season 14) with 3%, soldier and actor J.R. Martinez (season 13) with 2%, and football player Hines Ward (season 12) with just 1%.
DiMarco certainly faced some of the biggest challenges of any winner in “DWTS” history. He was born completely deaf, so he couldn’t hear the music he was dancing to. To keep rhythm he had to rely on practice and the cues of his partner. If that’s not impressive enough, he also had to face off against UFC fighter Paige VanZant, who not only had athletic training but also prior dance experience. That DiMarco won despite those obstacles makes the achievement even more impressive.
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