The “Dancing With the Stars” winner 2021 has been crowned. Read on to find out who won the season 30 Mirrorball Trophy but be warned of spoilers.
The Season 30 Winner Is…
The winner of “Dancing With the Stars” season 30 is NBA player Iman Shumpert. He is the first professional basketball player to make the finals, let alone win the entire thing. He and professional partner Daniella Karagach were considered underdogs coming into the finale, but they pulled it off. This is just Daniella’s second season as a pro partner; she took partner Nelly all the way to the finals of season 29, so she has certainly come out of the gate strong on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Iman and Daniella definitely came into the season as dark horses to win the entire thing. They earned the second-lowest score of the entire field in the first week on their jive that the judges felt didn’t have enough jive content.
But over the season, they put together some of the most innovative dances and slowly won the judges over. Their Horror Night contemporary to “I Got 5 On It” was extraordinary, with judge Derek Hough calling it the best contemporary he had ever seen on the show. They were able to do so many complicated lifts because of their size differential — Daniella is 5-foot-2 and Iman is 6-foot-5 — and yet Iman was still very graceful for such a tall man. And enough cannot be said about Daniella’s choreography. She is one of the best pros at choreographing to showcase her partner and his strengths.
The couple earned strong scores on their cha cha to “Rhythm Nation” in week eight and their jazz to “Dark Fantasy” in week nine. Then in the finale, their freestyle to “Lose Control” and their cha cha/foxtrot fusion dance to “September” both earned perfect scores of 40 out of 40.
Iman Said He & Daniella Will Be Friends for Life
“It’s cool because it’s a … 5-2 girl like yelling at me … it’s hilarious. It’s the funniest thing,” said Shumpert.
He also joked that by being on “Dancing with the Stars,” he’s “dancing his way back into the NBA,” though he did say that in all seriousness, the show is helping him keep in shape.
“I’m trying to dance my way back into the NBA,” Iman said with a laugh. “But I’m just really trying to stay strong, stay ready, it’s not like I’m not working out … [‘Dancing With the Stars’] is good on my knees, I have to balance, I have to contort myself in different ways, it’s good for footwork.”
In a tribute Instagram post ahead of the finale, Daniella said of Iman, “Thank you for trusting me and always committing to whatever challenge is thrown at you. You’re an incredible human being. It’s been a pleasure watching you grow into a dancer.”
“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.