‘Dancing With the Stars’ Crowns Season 23 Winner (Video)

Debbie Emery
The Wrap
‘Dancing With the Stars’ Crowns Season 23 Winner (Video)

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Tuesday’s finale of “Dancing With the Stars”)

“Dancing With the Stars” Season 23 came to a close on Tuesday, and just like the presidential election two weeks ago, it was a shockingly tight race up until the very end.

With Jana Kramer getting the boot on Monday night, it was down to three contestants: James Hinchcliffe, Calvin Johnson Jr. and Laurie Hernandez. And for the first time ever, they were all professional athletes.

And while we doubt the outcome is going to cause any riots as Donald Trump’s victory did, the live finale airing from The Grove in Los Angeles did prompt tighter security from LAPD officers and K9 teams in fear of protests against returning former contestant Ryan Lochte.

And without further ado, the winner of the Mirror Ball trophy is … Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez!

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Despite being a front-runner early in the season, former NFL star Johnson came in third, and Indy car driver Hinchcliffe was second.

“I just want to thank everyone for the support riding on this crazy roller coaster of life,” 16-year-old Hernandez said after she was crowned with pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy. “My goal is just to inspire others.”

Earlier in the night, the two-hour show saw the return of some fan favorites from throughout the season such as a musical performance from Vanilla Ice with “D.J.” Rick Perry.

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When co-host Erin Andrews asked Perry which was more exciting — being on stage with Ice or meeting Trump the day before — he wisely opted for “no comment.”

Other highlights of the evening included a raunchy dance by Johnson and pro partner Lindsay Arnold to “Hotel California.”

Three of the hottest guys from Season 23 — James, Calvin and Ryan — also hit the dance floor with some shirtless male strippers … sorry, dancers … to Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic.”

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Even with 15 minutes to go in the show, judge Len Goodman said he had no idea who was going to win, while Julianne Hough said she was “nervous … every couple has just come out and nailed it.”

See video below of Rick Perry and Vanilla Ice below, because you can’t make this stuff up, and Laurie and Val being presented with the trophy.

“Dancing With the Stars” airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m.

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