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5 Controversial Dancing with The Stars Winners

5 Controversial Dancing with The Stars Winners

Since Dancing with The Stars first aired in 2005, there have been tons of celebrities who have competed over the course of the show’s 26 seasons (27 if you count that Season 15 was the All-Stars season) for their chance to win the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Only 27 celebrities can say that they have won the Mirrorball Trophy.

Dancing with The Stars has a dedicated fan base who wants to make sure the best dancers win. However, that has not always been the case as the show has produced shocking eliminations and winners over the years. Here are 5 of the Most Controversial Dancing with The Stars Winners:

5. Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough:

One reason why Helio Castroneves’s and Julianne Hough’s victory on Season 5 of Dancing with The Stars makes this list is because of the pair’s rumored off-stage relationship. The rumors of this romance started after Helio kissed Julianne on the lips briefly during one of their routines on live TV. The romance rumors also resulted in Helio and his fiance to calling their engagement shortly after the show finished. Julianne later denied the allegations of her and Helio being a couple.


The other reason why this win was controversial is that many fans believed that Spice Girl Mel B. and her professional partner Maks Chmerkovskiy, the runner-ups, should have won instead of Helio and Julianne. Mel B. and Maks had the highest scoring average of all the couples of Season 5. The runners-ups were one of the two couples to beat that season. Mel B.’s and Maks’s chances of winning increased after the other heavily favorited couple, Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan and her professional partner Mark Ballas, were eliminated in one of the show’s most shocking eliminations ever in Week 6 (finishing seventh overall). 

To this present day, Maks, who later won his first and only Mirror Ball Trophy on Season 18 with Meryl Davis, has stated that he felt so disappointed when he and Mel B. didn’t win Season 5. 

4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 

Throughout the course of Dancing with The Stars, it is often said that whoever performs the best or most memorable freestyle dance (performed on Night 1 of the finale by the final three/four couples left) will win the competition. Heading into the Dancing with The Stars Season 14 finale, fans were expecting either William Levy (third place) or Katerine Jenkins (runner-up) to win as both celebrities had consistently received high scores throughout the season. No one expected the third finalist, former NFL Player Donald Driver, to win.


However, due to his memorable freestyle routine (video below the photo) and huge fanbase, Driver caused an upset when he and his professional partner Peta Murgatroyd won the Mirror Ball Trophy over the two front-runners. 

5 Controversial Dancing with The Stars Winners

3. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani:

Season 15 of Dancing with The Stars was the show’s first, and so far only, All-Stars Season which saw 13 former celebrity competitors, with 6 being former winners, compete for another chance to win the Mirror Ball Trophy. It was predicted by many that Season 8 Champion Shawn Johnson would win her second Mirror Ball Trophy.


However, in a shocking twist, Melissa Rycroft (who originally finished third on Season 8, the same season Shawn won) and her professional partner Tony Dovolani were victorious. Rycroft’s win makes her the first and only person from The Bachelor Franchise (from those who have competed on Dancing with The Stars) to win the competition. 

One of the only good things about this upset was seeing Tony, who had been a pro on the show since Season 2 at the time, finally win his first Mirror Ball Trophy. The upset victory even surprised the winning pair themselves. Shortly after Melissa and Tony were announced as the winners, the cameras cut to the waiting room, where all of the couples not in the Final Two were watching, to see their reactions. Season 4 Winner Apolo Anton Ohno’s (who finished fifth on The All-Stars Season) reaction at 1:22-1:25 represented how shocked fans were. 

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2. Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough:

Throughout Season 16 of Dancing with The Stars, Disney Star Zendaya Coleman and Singer Kellie Pickler were neck-to-neck for the season’s highest scores heading into the finale. The latter and her professional partner Derek Hough would win Season 16 but Zendaya and her professional partner Val Chmerkovskiy finishing in second place, not without controversy.

There was a glitch in the voting system and fans couldn’t vote through and had to cast votes via the show’s other methods (phone calls, texts, and Facebook). To this very day, Val has stated that his biggest heartbreak on Dancing with the Stars was not winning Season 16 with Zendaya.

5 Controversial Dancing with The Stars Winners


1. Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess:

The winning couple from the most recent season of Dancing with The Stars has caused a lot of controversy. Fans expected Actor Juan Pablo Di Pace and his partner, Cheryl Burke, to win Season 27 until they were eliminated the week before the finale, finishing fifth overall and the result upset many viewers.

With the front-runner eliminated, fans were expecting either Actor Milo Manheim and his professional partner Witney Carson (second overall); Harry Potter Star and Actress Evanna Lynch and her professional partner Keo Motsepe (third overall); and/or even Model Alexis Ren and her professional partner Alan Bersten (fourth overall) to win now. However, the fourth couple, Radio Host Bobby Bones and his professional partner Sharna Burgess, caused a huge upset when they were announced as the winners over the other 3 couples. 

While Dancing with The Stars fans were happy that Sharna had finally won her first Mirror Ball Trophy (in her 10 previous seasons (excluding Season 27) as a pro, she finished second 3 times) the result was controversial as Bobby consistently got low scores each week compared to the other three finalists. In addition, many fans were upset that the radio host made the finale over Juan Pablo Di Pace. The win sparked so much controversy that fans claimed that they would no longer watch the show while others begged ABC to revamp some aspects of the show’s format, including how the winner is decided. 


Which of these 5 controversial Dancing with The Stars wins shocked you the most? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!

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