“This is such an amazing feeling. This whole thing has been so incredible,” she said, adding that it was all because of DiMarco.
VanZant came in second, and she told Bergeron that she was happy to have been a part of the show.
“I’m going to remember it forever,” she said.
Zee took third place. She thanked her pro partner for making her a meteorologist who can dance.
“I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to be here ...,” Zee said, adding that she hopes viewers saw her example and realized “that you can be more than one thing.”
The finale started with two performances last night, ending with VanZant leading in judges’ scores, followed by Zee and then DiMarco.
The three each had to perform a third routine tonight – the 24-hour fusion challenge dance – in which they fused two contrasting style of dance into one routine with only a day of preparation. VanZant scored the highest in this round, followed by DiMarco and then Zee.
The judges’ scores and viewer votes from the last week and this week were combined.
The finalists each gave an encore of one of their breakout routines from earlier on in the season, then later delivered their 24-hour fusion challenges.
The season started in March with 12 celebrities in the running. Weekly eliminations narrowed the field to the final three.
Zee, 35, started out moderately strong and continued to blossom, going on to win frequent praise from the three judges for her dance ability as well as her dance floor charisma. Zee earned the first perfect score of the season. During rehearsals last week Zee, a new mother, injured her pelvis but was able to perform all her routines despite feeling pain.
VanZant, 22, had dance training as a child and it showed in her technique and high-scoring performances, but judges have praised her throughout the season for allowing her vulnerability to show, telling her she has only continued to improve.
DiMarco, 27, became an early fan favorite. Despite being deaf and unable to either hear music or feel its vibrations, the “America’s Next Top Model” winner wowed the judges with his eloquent delivery and continuously improving technical skill.
Chmerkovskiy and his “Dancing” pro alum brother, Maks, also offered a preview of their upcoming dance tour, “Maks and Val Live on Tour: Our Way.”