Actor Alfonso Ribeiro and his dancing partner, Witney Carson, took home the Mirror Ball trophy after the second night of the two-part finale of “Dancing with the Stars” Season 19 on Tuesday. The winning pair defeated “Duck Dynasty” star Sadie Robertson and her partner, Mark Ballas, and “Pretty Little Liars” actress Janel Parrish and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy.
The big night for Ribeiro and his partner, who became emotional while being crowned the champions, came after weeks of practice and several injuries. The winning pair was announced based on a combination of the judges’ scores and public votes from Monday night.
“I cannot believe this. I've wanted it forever. My god, I don't even know what to say,” Ribeiro reportedly said. Carson praised her partner, calling him “one of the most hard-working people” she has ever met.
The three finalists were given a "24-Hour Dance Challenge," which involved preparing a performance for the last night in 24 hours. The performance was reportedly a combination of two dance styles that the pair performed earlier in the season.
Ribeiro performed a combination of cha-cha and Argentine tango, Robertson performed a samba and quickstep, while Parrish rocked the stage with her foxtrot and pasodoble.
Robertson, who ended up second, reportedly said that she was pleased Ribeiro had won. “This has been an amazing experience and I just want to say I'm so thankful to God who has brought me this far in the completion,” she reportedly said.
Judge Len Goodman praised Robertson after her performance, saying: “Yours is a Cinderella story. You came to the ball having never danced. You met the handsome Prince Charming. You are leaving a dancing princess.” Goodman also praised winner Ribeiro saying that there “is a naturalness about you.”
During the two-hour finale, actress Jennifer Hudson teamed up with musical duo Gorgon City for a performance. Contestants who had been eliminated in Season 19 also returned for the finale.