— -- It’s hard to believe just 12 weeks ago, Ginger Zee was headed West to start her journey in the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom.
With her family and friends behind her, supporting her from both afar and a lucky few right there in the audience, it’s no surprise that Zee blossomed into a world-class dancer, overcoming every obstacle and dancing her way into the final three.
On Tuesday night, day two of the two-night season finale, model and actor Nyle DiMarco was chosen as the winner of season 22 edging out Zee and UFC fighter Paige VanZant.
“I’m surprised by the emotional journey,” she said on “Good Morning America” today while celebrating the “DWTS” after party. “I knew physically it would change me and it would be very quick but emotionally, and the woman I’ve become, I’m so much stronger, more confident than I’ve ever been. And I have Val to thank for that, I have my family, my husband, my baby, it really changed who I am and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be next to all these amazing people.”
One of her biggest fans, her mother, couldn’t let the whirlwind experience come to an end without a special surprise for her hardworking daughter.
“Last night when she redid that one piece with Val, I saw it at home, it was absolutely beautiful but I was breathless,” Zee’s mom, Dawn Zuidgeest-Craft, said live from Los Angeles. “I watched her body not just fly but engage with Val so much and I was so impressed. She just had a peace about her face that I didn’t see the first time. It was so amazing to watch and I was jealous, I wanted to be Val’s arms.”
Although Zee said she's sad that her time on the dance floor come to an end, she’s thrilled to be back in action every morning as the chief meteorologist on “GMA.”
“I’m so happy to be home and I’m so grateful to Val, I’m so grateful to my husband, for my family for supporting me, and for Rob [Marciano]. Because you made it happen,” she explained. “Thank you for filling in. Thank you to the weather team for killing it while I was gone, and now I’m back. You got me. I’m ready to come back full-on.”