DWTS has a judges’ panel and scoring system. However, at the end of the season, viewers choose the winner. This year, many fans believed that JoJo Siwa and her partner Jenna Johnson would take home the Mirrorball Trophy. But that didn’t happen.
Despite having no dance experience and scoring significantly lower than JoJo for most of the season, NBA star Iman Shumpert won Season 31. He and his partner Daniella Karagach consistently improved over the season and quickly earned fans’ approval.
It seems that DWTS have spoken — they really don’t want contestants with prior dance experience to win.
DWTS fans want more competitors like Season 30 winner Iman Shumpert
Heavy reported that surveyed fans generally expressed disappointment when contestants with no prior dancing experience left early in the competition. DWTS viewers like watching great routines, but often feel that it’s unfair when contestants with proper dance training keep advancing.
Out of the four Season 30 finalists, Iman Shumpert was the only one with no prior dance experience.
Contestants like Matt James and The Miz were really popular with fans. But low scores didn’t get them very far. When The Miz was in the bottom two with JoJo Siwa, the judges unanimously chose to save the 18-year-old Dance Moms alum. And many fans didn’t love that choice.
Many fans felt that Iman Shumpert deserved the trophy because he encompassed what DWTS was really all about — celebrities with no dance training competing against one another.
Fans want the trophy to go to someone who really earned it
Iman and Daniella certainly worked hard to secure their victory and many fans recognized their hard work. Even after winning, Iman could hardly believe it happened. Almost everyone seemed so sure JoJo and Jenna would win.
“I never thought I’d have a ballroom trophy,” Iman told ET after the finale episode. “Hats off to the work that we put in. I think me and Dani set our mind to that when we got that 40, that we don’t want to just to drop off now and just steam out of the competition. I think we just put in a lot of hours and when it was time to perform, it got easy.”
The turning point in Season 30 really came during the Halloween episode. Daniella and Iman pulled off a terrifying routine inspired by Us which scored a perfect 40. Most of the other contestants with previous dance careers hadn’t even earned a perfect score yet.
“I honestly think that their chemistry is amazing,” Iman’s wife Teyana Taylor told Us Weekly in an exclusive interview. “I think that Daniella is an amazing choreographer. I’m a dancer, so I appreciate what she do and then she kills it.”
Who would you like to see compete in Season 31 when it returns? We want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments. Do you want more contestants with no experience, or do you prefer it when competitors already know a few steps?
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