Derek Hough's 5 Mirrorball Wins: Does Anyone Else Even Have a Dancing Chance?
Forget that Emmy — Derek Hough has five mirrorball trophies. The newly crowned five-time "Dancing With the Stars" champion scored his latest bling with partner Amber Riley on the Season 17 finale, firmly solidifying his place in the "DWTS" record books. No other pro dancer has even come close — the most mirrorballs any of his peers has won is two.
Hough's partners have included everyone from "Dirty Dancing" alum Jennifer Grey to a pre-"DWTS" hostess Brooke Burke-Charvet, and his victory with Riley marks the first time an African American woman has won the TV dancing competition. But while this pro dancing powerhouse has racked up an impressive roster of routines in the process, Hough's also got a rock-solid fan base, and it seems to be growing, which some critics think gives him a hefty edge. A recent Buddy TV article put it bluntly: "The point is that Derek has become bigger than the show and it seems like an unfair advantage. Whichever celebrity gets him as a partner is almost guaranteed to make it to the finale."
True, that — Hough almost always makes it to the finals, and he's never landed below sixth place on the show. (And that was back in the old days; in more recent seasons he's either won or been runner-up.)
The fan-driven show is just as much about the contestants' popularity as it is about the dancing (the latest example: Bill Engvall made it to the finals despite a steady dose of low judges' scores), and the pros come with a built-in following. So, is Hough becoming too popular, or is he simply the best choreographer this TV dancing competition has ever seen?
You be the judge! Here's a look at Hough's five mirrorball trophy wins and some of his best dances.
Brooke Burke-Charvet (Season 7)
Back in 2008, new kid to the show Hough couldn't contain his excitement when he won his first "DWTS" championship with partner Brooke Burke-Charvet, but five years later the co-hostess of the show still plays favorites. Burke-Charvet told the Las Vegas Sun, "Derek and I have so much history, and he's like family. But aside from that, he is the most brilliant choreographer ever. He has this way of making his partners look amazing ... He'll always be my personal favorite, for sure. That's not the politically correct answer, but that's the truth!"