Season 23 of “Dancing With the Stars” came to a close Tuesday night when Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez and her professional partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, were named Mirror Ball Trophy champions.
The holiday-themed finale was taped live at The Grove in Los Angeles. Three couples competed for the top prize. In addition to the winners, race car driver James Hindchcliffe and pro Sharna Burgess danced it out, as did former NFL player Clavin Johnson Jr. and pro Lindsay Arnold.
Hernandez was considered the competition’s front-runner throughout the season. Last week, she broke down in tears during her emotional performance in the wake of her grandmother’s recent death.
“I just want to thank everyone for their support and riding along this crazy roller coaster of my life,” Hernandez told host Tom Bergeron after she won.
The season made headlines early on when a security incident interrupted Ryan Lochte’s first appearance in the live season premiere.