And the mirror ball trophy goes to… Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy!
During Tuesday night's two-hour finals of Dancing With the Stars
, filmed live at The Grove in Los Angeles, the 16-year-old Olympic gymnast and her pro partner were crowned the season 23 champions.
Hernandez was going for the gold, literally, as she took the stage in a glitzy one-piece dress and a perfectly-styled ballerina bun. With help from Chmerkovskiy, she nailed her final "24 hour fusion" dance, which consisted of the foxtrot and Argentine tango.
Showcasing Hernandez's athleticism with stellar lifts, fierce extensions and quick movements across the floor, the routine received a perfect score and raving reviews from all four of the judges. "My golly, you really are a spectacular dancer," said Bruno Tonioli. "Right on the money, honey! Fantastic!"
Judge Len Goodman, who admitted he had no "clue of who's going to win" with only 15 minutes remaining in the show, called her "Little miss dynamite," while Julianne Hough pointed out Hernandez "came out with a bang, and finished with a bang!"
"I just want to thank everyone for their support along this crazy roller coaster of my life," Hernandez gushed after her win. "And my goal is just to inspire others as I go on with my journey."
"Thanks for being there for me!" she added.
Chmerkovskiy echoed her sweet sentiments on stage, while offering wise words of advice to other young girls and boys aspiring to follow in his partner's footsteps.
"Thank you so much to all the kids out there," he added. "You don't have to wait 'til you grow up to change the world! Be great -- you're the future! Thank you so much!"
And if winning a mirror ball trophy weren't exciting enough, the show also revealed Hernandez is officially joining the dance pros and troupe members on their upcoming tour,Dancing With the Stars: Live!
, which kicks off Dec. 16 in Reno, Nevada.
James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess
, whose last dance was a mix of the Viennese waltz & foxtrot, came in second place, but their tremendous journey on the show definitely won't be forgotten.
Fans of the show were treated to a beautiful freestyle from the dance duo during Monday night's semi-finals, which told the story of the IndyCar racer's bloody car crash
, an incident that almost took his life last May.
In their interview package on Tuesday night, Hinchcliffe sweetly gifted Burgess his race suit as a gesture for everything she has done for him this season.
"You're amazing. You don't have to say anything, just promise you won't bedazzle it," he said, before asking the dance pro, "Shall we dance, one last time?"
"Thanks for giving me the season of my life," Burgess, who has yet to win
a mirror ball trophy, replied.
"It's been an incredible season from start to finish," she shared. "I think that this has been one of my favorite journeys on Dancing With the Stars."
Even though host Tom Bergeron was highly impressed with their jive and quick step fusion, telling the audience "they did everything they could to win the trophy," it unfortunately wasn't enough to come out on top.
"Going into week one of the show, Calvin never expected to come this far," Arnold told ET
following last week's show. "He's really proud of himself."
And from the beginning, Arnold had a feeling
Hernandez would be this season's victor, telling ET, "I think the one to beat is Laurie."
"She had such grace and control when she was competing on the gymnastics floor, and you can see that she knows how to listen to music and how to perform," Arnold continued. "On top of that, she's the sweetest little girl ever. So, I think she has a really good shot!"
Previously eliminated contestants
from season 23 included Jana Kramer, Terra Jole, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Vanilla Ice, Jake T. Austin, Rick Perry, Marilu Henner, Maureen McCormick, Amber Rose and Ryan Lochte.
Congrats to the new Dancing With the Stars champs!
Earlier this month, Hernandez was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
, where she revealed she already had an idea of where she'd like to put her mirror ball trophy.
Hear more about the adorable placement (pending her mother's approval!) in the video below.