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Called it: Charli D'Amelio wins 'Dancing with the Stars' but that wasn't the only surprise

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Charli D'Amelio

Charli D'Amelio and Mark Ballas are the likely winners of this year's "Dancing with the Stars." 

We called it last week. Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas won this season of “Dancing with the Stars.”

And why not? They were consistently good all season long. Several weeks ago, judges said she needed more personality and, Monday, she was brimming with it. For their freestyle, the two did a number that included a host of different dance styles. They were flawless with each of them.

Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy were good, too, but they didn’t have the same precision. For their finale they did the “Cell Block Tango” from “Chicago,” suggesting she could wind up on Broadway. They came in second.

Both Windey and D’Amelio, however, are headed for the touring production of “DWTS” (something else we predicted).

And, for the trifecta of prognostications, we said the producers needed to give retiring judge Len Goodman his own mirror-ball trophy. They did. Past participants taped tributes as well and fellow judges shared moments when Len was at his crabbiest.

Wayne Brady came in third and Shangela placed fourth. But Shangela’s routine was full-out drag, turning her partner, Gleb Savchenko, into a drag queen. It was a huge production number that even featured dancing chicken legs.

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The finale brought back the season’s other contestants, clumped them in groups and let them have one last moment on the floor. It was a nice touch, but so, too, was Selma Blair’s return for a solo number.

D’Amelio and Ballas said the season helped bring back their love of dance. For the latter, it was a chance to move closer to friend Derek Hough’s record. Hough has six trophies, Ballas has three.

Longtime pro Cheryl Burke did her last dance as a pro but has indicated she’d return as a judge if the job was offered. With Goodman gone, it seems likely.

While airing the show on Disney+ may not have been the best move, the show did net the most viewer votes in history. That says someone must have been watching.

While there were far too many contestants for any network’s good, the show didn’t have any commercials. It moved quickly and, in some cases, let the performances breathe.

D’Amelio, it was noted, had dancing experience, which really shifted the competition. If there are going to be schooled dancers in the field, there should be a more even playing field. Everyone should have dancing experience or no one should. Pitting rookies against pros isn’t fair. Then it just comes down to personality.

D’Amelio’s ability carried her but it’d be nice to see her compete against others with the same background.

All all-pro season? That’d be cool, too. When many of the professional dancers are more famous than the celebrities they’re training, it could be time.



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