ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” had its first season in 2005 and quickly became one of America’s favorite celebrity competition shows.
Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews take us through weekly dance competitions as we get to watch celebrities, actors, athletes, and other public figures perform dance routines while they are paired with professional dancers. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a former professional athlete doing the salsa?
The show has judges, but each week fans vote for their favorite dance duo to help determine which team makes it to the next round. Each dance team is competing for the coveted “Mirrorball Trophy.”
Olympic silver and gold medalist Laurie Hernandez was named the season 23 winner, but what happened to the winners from the past 22 season? Here’s a look back at the winners from “Dancing with the Stars” and find out what they’re up to these days.
Season 1 Winner: Kelly Monaco
Kelly Monaco, former 1997 Playboy “Playmate of the Month” was the winner of the first season of “Dancing with the Stars” back when the show debuted in 2005. Since then, she has continued working as an actress in her role as Sam McCall on the ABC soap opera General Hospital.
Season 2 Winner: Drew Lachey
As we all know, Drew Lachey is a former member of the boy band 98 Degrees from the 2000s. Lachey danced his way to the top with his partner Cheryl Burke. In 2015, he and his brother started their own reality show on A&E, “Lachey’s Bar,” which follows their journey, as they create and operate their own bar in their hometown, in Cincinnati. In 2016, he went on a 35-city reunion tour with 98 Degrees.
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Season 3 Winner: Emmitt Smith
Former Dallas Cowboys star running back Emmitt Smith took home the trophy during season three of “Dancing with the Stars” with his pro partner Cheryl Burke. In 2011 he wrote a book called “Game On,” which focuses on how he won on the field and off the field. He has continued to be the owner of Emmitt Smith Enterprises — an umbrella company for several other construction, real estate and marketing companies. Smith also gives back. He does charitable events in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, where helps kids in the community.
Season 4 Winner: Apolo Ohno
Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno was the celebrity winner in season four of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2007. In 2013 the Olympic speed-skated hosted the Game Show Network (GSN) show, “Minute to Win It.” In 2016 he made an appearance as a guest star on Jane Lynch’s “Hollywood Game Night.” These days, Ohno is a motivational speaker and founder of Allysian Sciences, a company that uses advanced science and technology to help people build businesses and excel in their careers.
Season 5 Winner: Hélio Castroneves
Hélio Castroneves is a Brazilian auto racing driver and also the winner of season five of “Dancing with the Stars.” After winning with his partner Chelsie Hightower, he went on to continue his career as with Team Penske as the No. 3 car.
Season 6 Winner: Kristi Yamaguchi
The former Olympic figure skating champion used her skills to win season six of “Dancing with the Stars.” She has written several children’s books, including a successful children’s book called, “Dream Big, Little Pig.” She also has her own women’s wear clothing line called Tsu.ya.
Season 7: Brooke Burke-Charvet
Brooke Burke Charvet won season seven of “Dancing with the Stars.” Apparently she was so good on the show, she returned as the host in 2010 to replace Samantha Harris. In 2012, she competed on the show again while battling thyroid cancer. That year, she came in second place. Aside from being a busy mom of three daughters, she also runs two lifestyle brands — Baboosh Baby for expecting moms, and Modern Mom for new mothers. She also has a women’s inspirational podcast called “The Naked Mom.”
Season 8 Winner: Shawn Johnson
The former Olympic gymnast won season eight of “Dancing with the Stars” with her professional dance partner Mark Ballas. She went on to make appearances on the celebrity edition of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and ABC television series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”
Season 9 Winner: Donny Osmond
Donny Osmond is best known for being part of the singing group “The Osmonds,” but he was also the winner of season nine of “Dancing with the Stars.” In 2014, he released his 16th studio album, “The Soundtrack Of My Life.”
Season 10 Winner: Nicole Scherzinger
Actress, singer and former member of the “Pussycat Dolls” Nicole Scherzinger and her professional dance partner Derek Hough dominated the 10th season of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. Since then she made appearances as a judge on the American and British versions of “X-Factor.” In 2011 she released her solo album “Killer Love,” followed by “Big Fat Lie” in 2014.
Season 11 Winner: Jennifer Grey
After her and professional dance partner Derek Hough danced their way to victory in season 11 of “Dancing with the Stars,” the former “Dirty Dancing” star now shares her creativity on her personal blog. From 2014-2016 she played Judy Meyers on the television series “Red Oaks.” She is married to “Marvel: Agents of Shield” star Clark Gregg.
Season 12 Winner: Hines Ward
Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward won season 12 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Since then he has made cameo appearances on the 2012 film “The Dark Knight Rises” and in 2013 as a zombie on “The Walking Dead.” These days, you can catch Hines Ward as a football analyst on “NBC’s Football Night in America” and on CNN as a sports contributor.
Season 13 Winner: J.R. Martinez
J.R. Martinez won season 13 of “Dancing with the Stars.” He is a former US Army soldier that was severely burned while on active duty. He also played Brot Monroe in the ABC soap opera “All My Children” from 2008 to 2011. In 2012 he published his book, “Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit.” These days, he’s an avid sports fan and father and motivational speaker.
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Season 14 Winner: Donald Driver
Former Green Bay Packer wide receiver Donald Driver used his fancy footwork to win season 14 of “Dancing with the Stars.” He later wrote three children’s books and has an autobiography titled “Driven: From Homeless to Hero, My Journey.” His latest book is all about fitness and is titled “The 3D Body Revolution.”
Season 15 Winner: Melissa Rycroft
Melissa Rycroft won season 15 of “Dancing with the Stars.” When it comes to being in the spotlight, Melissa is no rookie. She also appeared in season 13 of ABC’s The Bachelor and CMT’s “Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.” In 2017, she has made two appearances on “Access Hollywood Live.”
Season 16 Winner: Kellie Pickler
Many people remember Kellie Pickler during season 5 of “American Idol,” but she was also the winner of season 16 of “Dancing with the Stars.” In 2014 she appeared as a performer on the television series “Nashville.” These days she has her own reality show with her husband called “I Love Kellie Pickler” on CMT. The show follows her life as a country singer.
Season 17 Winner: Amber Riley
In 2013, Amber Riley won season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Although she won for her dance moves, she is best known for her singing and acting skills as Mercedes Jones on “Glee.” In 2015 she played Addapearie in the live television movie “The Wiz Live!” on NBC.
Season 18 Winner: Meryl Davis
Former Olympic champion Meryl Davis and her dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy won season 18 of “Dancing with the Stars.” She and five other Olympians appeared on the NBC special, “How to Raise an Olympian.” She has also made several television appearences on NBC’s “Today” show.
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Season 19 Winner: Alfonso Ribeiro
Although Alfonso Ribeiro will forever be known as Carlton from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” he will also be known as the winner of season 19, proving he can do more than just the “Carlton Dance.” These days, you can catch him as the host of ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” He recently reunited with some of his former castmates from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and posted the photo to his Instagram account.
Season 20 Winner: Rumer Willis
Many people know Rumer Willis as the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, but she also showcased her talents during season 20 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Partnered with her coach and professional dancer Val Chmerkovskiy, she worked her way to the top and won season 20. She later appeared in the Broadway musical Chicago as Roxie Hart. In 2016 she did some voice work in the animated television series “Robot Chicken.” In 2017 she has appeared in four episodes of the Fox drama series, “Empire” as Tory Ash. Aside from acting, she has also been featured in ad campaigns for the Gap.
Season 21 Winner: Bindi Irwin
Bindi Irwin, the daughter of the late Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter,” won season 21 of “Dancing with the Stars.” During one of the episodes, she dedicated her routine to her late dad and received the highest score of the night for her performance. These days, she is actively involved with the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve.
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Season 22 Winner: Nyle DiMarco
Former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Nyle DiMarco showed off his dancing skills to win season 22 of “Dancing with the Stars” with professional dance partner Peta Murgatroyd. He was the show’s second deaf contestant, and the first deaf winner. In 2016 he appeared in the Hulu comedy series, “Difficult People” and continues to be a male model and strong advocate for the deaf community.
Season 23 Winner: Laurie Hernandez
In season 23 of “Dancing with the Stars,” Olympic silver and gold medalist Laurie Hernandez danced her way to victory with her dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy. At the end of 2016, Laurie reunited with her dance partner to go on the “Dancing with the Stars” tour. These days she is traveling and making appearances and enjoying her life as an Olympic champion.