DWTS Champ Makes New Romance Official

Mirrorball trophy

ABC A Mirrorball trophy winner took a relationship public.

A “Dancing With the Stars” champ has made her relationship official by sharing a couple of photos of her boyfriend on her Instagram Stories.

Season 20 champ Rumer Willis — who won the Mirrorball with ballroom pro Val Chmerkovskiy — confirmed that she is dating musician Derek Richard Thomas. The two were spotted hanging out together over the summer, according to the Daily Mail. The outlet supplied photos of the two shopping together at a local farmers market in Los Angeles in July 2022.

Although Willis and Thomas weren’t overly flirty or packing on the PDA, their summer outings were enough to get people wondering if they were an item. Over the past few months, Thomas has made various appearances on Willis’ Instagram account, but on October 4, 2022, Willis confirmed that Thomas is indeed her boyfriend.

Here’s what you need to know:


Willis Confirmed Her Romance in Honor of National Boyfriend Day

Willis added a photo to the Instagram-wide “national bf day” folder and tagged Thomas in the pic. The photo she chose appeared to be taken in a photo booth and showed the two getting close. Thomas smiled as he nuzzled into Willis’ face and she had her arm across his chest, resting on his opposite shoulder. The top photo in the slide was cut off.

Willis decided to share another photo to the public folder, this one of Thomas being goofy outside of some type of store. There were a couple of prop toilets on the ground and he pretended to sit on one.

“@derekrichardthomas you’re my favorite human,” she captioned the pic.

On September 1, 2022, Thomas shared a photo of himself sitting naked in a small tub, covered in Chef Boyardee raviolis.

“Was an honor to photograph you in your natural habitat,” Willis commented on the pic, adding two kissy face emoji.


Thomas Is in the Band Vista Kicks

Thomas is the lead singer in the band Vista Kicks, according to his Instagram bio. The band is currently on tour, making stops all over the United States.

“First couple shows have been a blast. It feels so good to be playing and seeing everyone again,” read a post on the band’s socials. According to the band’s website, they originated in Roseville, California. Trevor Sutton and Nolan Le Vine make up the other two thirds of the group.

While this appears to be the first time that Willis has confirmed that she and Thomas are dating, the two have known each other for quite some time. In fact, Willis shared a video of herself performing a song with Thomas in May 2022.

“@derekrichardthomas and @thehailmaries are the most talented singers and songwriters I have heard in a very long time (maybe ever) and tonight I had the pleasure of getting to sing a few tunes with them. All of these are new tunes but if check them out on Spotify @thehailmaries just released some new songs and follow them they have more shows coming up in la and are opening up for The Rolling Stones soon. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did,” Willis captioned a post at the time.

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