Model Nyle DiMarco beat the odds and became the first deaf winner of U.S. reality show Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday night (24May16).
The 27-year-old, who was also crowned the victor of America's Next Top Model in December (15), was presented with the coveted mirrorball trophy alongside his professional partner Peta Murgatroyd. She claims her second win after landing first place with American footballer Donald Driver in 2012.
Nyle beat out UFC star Paige VanZant, who came in second, followed by U.S. breakfast show meteorologist Ginger Zee, who rounded out the top three.
The model had been a favourite to win the title since the beginning of the season, managing to land high scores despite the fact he is unable to hear the music. He depended on Peta to lead by movement alone, and prior to the season finale, he took to Twitter to praise his dedicated partner.
"Peta Jane Murgatroyd, thank you for embracing the journey with me & helping me redefine Deaf through dancing."
For their final performance, the duo took on a Tango/Cha Cha fusion dance, and scored a perfect 30 from the judges helping them solidify their place in the top spot.
The emotional moment left Nyle in tears, as judge Carrie Ann Inaba used sign language to tell Nyle, "Thank you for showing us your beautiful heart with dance."
The finale of the 22nd season also featured musical performances by Pitbull, Fifth Harmony, Aloe Blacc and Dan + Shay.
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