Jenna Johnson started at the bottom and now she’s here. In just her second season as a “Dancing with the Stars” pro, Johnson went from worst — being eliminated first — to best, winning the damn thing with Adam Rippon. She is the fourth pro to take the home the Mirrorball trophy after finishing last in his or her previous season.
The “So You Think You Can Dance” alum had an inauspicious “Dancing” pro debut in Season 23 with “Wizards of Waverly Place” star Jake T. Austin, going home the first week. After sitting out the next two installments, she returned on “Athletes” with Rippon, a match made in heaven that led to a victory on Monday’s finale.
Kym Johnson was the first pro to prevail after going home first her previous season. After winning Season 9 with Donny Osmond, she skipped Season 10 and was first out in Season 11 with David Hasselhoff. She then won it all with Hines Ward in Season 12.
The following season, Peta Murgatroyd was the first bootee in her pro debut, with Metta World Peace. She then won Season 14 with Donald Driver. In that same season, Tony Dovolani and Martina Navratilova were the first casualties, but Dovolani rebounded to win the all-stars edition with Melissa Rycroft the next season. (He then was the first eliminated in Season 16, with Wynonna Judd.)
Johnson, Murgatroyd and Dovolani accomplished their last-to-first runs in consecutive seasons, so Johnson is the first to do non-consecutively. She is also the third pro to win the show in his or her second season, following Mark Ballas (Season 6) and Witney Carson (Season 19).
Thanks to the double eliminations, Artem Chigvintsev and Emma Slater came in last place this season. Slater already has a Mirrorball at home from Season 24, but maybe Chigvintsev will be the next to go from zero to hero.