With 27 seasons (and counting!) of Dancing With The Stars, we have seen some impressive dancing from your favorite celebrities with unforgettable performances. As of season 27, 309 celebrities have graced the dance floor. Each season, the standout contestants garner high scores from the judges' panel and typically make it deep into the competition with the help of viewer votes. However, this is not always the case.
With the combination of judges scores and viewer votes deciding who is eliminated each week, the "best" dancer each season does not always walk away with the Mirrorball Trophy. Often in seasons past, we have seen shocking eliminations of strong dancers or those that ultimately fell short of the Mirrorball on finale night. So, how many seasons of DWTS has the highest scored celebrity actually claimed victory? Read on to find out!
Way back in 2005, the inaugural season of DWTS featured only six celebrities facing off for the first Mirrorball Trophy. Although General Hospital star Kelly Monaco was the first-ever winner, actor John O'Hurley had the highest score of the season with his partner Charlotte Jorgensen, earning the highest score in three of the six weeks. In a twist that was never done again, the season ended with a dance-off between the final two couples, and O'Hurley was deemed by viewers as the best dancer, despite Monaco already winning the viewer votes for the Mirrorball Trophy.
From week one, 98 Degrees singer Drew Lachey and WWE wrestler Stacy Keibler were the clear two frontrunners, and that continued all the way to the finale. Despite having exactly even scores after all their dances, Keibler and her partner Tony Dovolani landed in third place, falling behind fan-favorite Jerry Rice while the viewers rallied around Lachey and partner Cheryl Burke to earn them the win.
Actor and TV Host Mario Lopez was a strong dancer from start to finish of the competition, garnering the overall highest scores of the season with partner Karina Smirnoff. However, the second highest scorer, NFL running back Emmitt Smith managed to surpass Lopez in the finale votes to claim victory with his partner Cheryl Burke.
R5 singer and actor Riker Lynch was a strong dancer from the start. However, he was not without competition, as actress Rumer Willis also impressed judges and viewers from night one. Come the live finale episode, Lynch finished with five judges' points ahead of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s daughter for the season, but the viewers pulled through with their support of Rumer and she defeated Riker in another close finish.
One could argue the season 27 season finale was the most controversial ever, probably because radio personality Bobby Bones won over much higher scorers. Partnered with Sharna, he had the lowest score during the semi-final and earned a 54 on finale night compared to Evanna and Milo's perfect 60s, and Alexis Ren’s 57. But clearly, he'd captured the viewers' hearts because they came through for the goofy guy and voted for him — which ultimately led to his win over Evanna and Milo.