It was an emotional ending Tuesday night for season 22 of “Dancing with the Stars.”
In the end, the winner couldn’t hear the applause and cheers, but he still felt the love.
Deaf contestant Nyle DiMarco and his partner Peta Murgatroyd were awarded the Mirror Ball trophy. The couple defeated meteorologist Ginger Zee and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy, as well as UFC fighter Paige VanZant and her partner Mark Ballas.
The pair were fan favorites throughout the competition and DiMarco was hailed for being able to dance so well despite not being able to hear.
“You have been incredible,” judge Bruno Tonioli said after the pair completed a cha-cha/tango fusion dance. “Nyle, you have given us season 22’s most memorable performances.”
But it was judge Carrie Ann Inaba who brought model DiMarco, and the audience, to tears after she delivered some of her remarks to him in sign language.
“I said ‘thank you for showing us your beautiful heart when you dance,'” Inaba said when asked by co-host Tom Bergeron what she had signed. “So thank you.'”
DiMarco is the second deaf contestant to compete on the show. Actress Marlee Matlin competed in season 6, but was eliminated before the finals.