After facing some unusually harsh criticisms from the judges on Dancing With the Stars, Bachelorette Hannah Brown took home the Mirrorball trophy on Monday night. But judge Carrie Ann Inaba is now saying that she was not expecting the former beauty queen to be crowned champion.
“It’s not what I expected,” Inaba told Us Weekly after the season 28 finale. “But this whole season has been filled with ups and downs and unexpected twists and turns. I think, always, the right person wins on Dancing With the Stars because it’s a collaborative vote between the judges’ scores and the audience. And what the audience says is very important and we honor it.”
Throughout the season, Brown faced some tough criticisms from the judges, with both Brown and fans of the show picking up on the fact that they were being much harder on her than the other contestants. The tensions culminated in an emotional confrontation between Inaba and Brown during rehearsals that left both of the women in tears.
After Brown and her partner Alan Bersten won, Inaba added that a lot of the live audience members were also shocked by the results — something she says she has never witnessed before. But perhaps she's forgetting last season's extremely controversial finale where DJ Bobby Bones won despite receiving the lowest scores week after week.
“I’ve never felt that from the ballroom when a winner was announced like tonight,” she said. “I think Hannah has had a really challenging journey, but I think in the end she rose, and I’m really proud of her.”
When asked who she had expected to see take home the Mirrorball trophy, Inaba said she didn't actually have anyone in mind, but still found Brown's win shocking.
“To be honest, I don’t know if I had a specific idea [of] who I thought was going to win,” she said. “I just knew that all four — and even all five, actually, even James [Van Der Beek] — could have been up here and it would’ve been great to see anybody win. It was just, for some reason, I don’t know why that was shocking.”
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