The Complete List of 'Dancing With the Stars' Winners: Life After the Mirrorball!
By Desiree Murphy
Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images
Season 1: Kelly Monaco & Alec Mazo
There's nothing sweeter than holding the title of ABC's first-ever DWTS champion! Since winning the mirrorball, Monaco continued to portray the role of Samantha McCall on the network's daytime drama, General Hospital. Monaco made her most recent return to the show during season 25, pairing up with her close pal, Cheryl Burke, and former NFL star Terrell Owens for Trio Night.
Season 2: Drew Lachey & Cheryl Burke
The 98 Degrees singer had so much fun learning how to dance on the show, that he joined the pros and troupe dancers on their DWTS tour after winning the title. At the time, he had no idea that his brother, Nick Lachey, would later compete on season 25 of the show with Peta Murgatroyd. Unfortunately for Nick, he didn't have as much luck -- he and Peta were the fifth couple to be eliminated from the competition.
Season 3: Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke
Cheryl nabbed her second mirrorball with this former NFL pro, who remains a DWTS legend. He returned to the show's 15th season as one of the "All-Stars," and during season 23, he made an epic surprise appearance in one of Calvin Johnson's routines with Lindsay Arnold. Additionally, he covers pro football for ESPN and is the co-owner of The Gents Place, a men's grooming and lifestyle club founded in Frisco, Texas.
Season 4: Apolo Anton Ohno & Julianne Hough
The short-track speed skater is an eight-time medalist, who most recently won one silver and two bronze medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He's also developed his own nutrition business, 8 Zone, in addition to the Apolo Anton Ohno Foundation, which encourages people to make positive choices and promotes active, healthy lifestyles. Apolo returned as an "All-Star" to the show's 15th season with Karina Smirnoff, but the two were voted off during week nine.
Season 5: Hélio Castroneves & Julianne Hough
After taking home a mirrorball, the Brazilian auto racing driver has continued to compete, racing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Indy500 Series and CART championship. He's now officially a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner! Like Apolo, Helio also returned as an "All-Star" in season 15, this time partnering with Chelsie Hightower. They were voted off in the third week of the competition during a double elimination. He also welcomed his first child, daughter Mikaella, in 2009.
"Winning the the mirrorball trophy was a great accomplishment for me, especially since I never was a dancer!" Helio explained to ET. "The entire experience brought me a whole new appreciation for dancers and made me much more recognizable in airports. To this day, people still stop me to tell me they loved me on the show and the yellow suit!"
"I've had a lot more requests to appear on talk shows and opportunities for speaking engagements since doing the show," he added. "Super cool! My mirrorball has a special place of honor in my living room... right in between my three Indy 500 trophies!"
Season 6: Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas
Kristi apparently couldn't get enough of the ballroom after winning the prestigious title! She returned to the show during season 16 to dance with fellow figure skater Dorothy Hamill. She also reunited with Mark during the show's 25th season, performing a number with her former partner and violinist Lindsey Stirling during Trio Night. Additionally, the gold medalist worked as a special correspondent for the Today show during the 2010 Winter Olympics. She also has her own women's activewear line, Tsu.ya by Kristi Yamaguchi, and has performed with Cheryl Burke on her Love on the Floor show in Japan.
Kristi says, however, that since winning DWTS, it's also been "back to reality," as she's been busy being a mom to two adorable daughters, Emma, 12, and Keara, 14. She tells ET she keeps her mirrorball on a shelf in her movie room... right next to husband Bret Hedican's Stanley Cup trophy!
Season 7: Brooke Burke & Derek Hough
Since winning the mirrorball, there's been no stopping this talented brunette beauty! She's currently working on her upcoming fitness app, Brooke Burke Body, which launches in December 2017. She's also a TV host, wellness guru, podcaster and CEO of ModernMom.com.
Additionally, she's appeared on Jane the Virgin and Melissa & Joey.
Season 8: Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas
The former Olympic gymnast announced her retirement from gymnastics in June 2012, three years after competing on DWTS. A few months later, Shawn returned to the show to compete as an "All-Star" with Derek Hough. The two ended up in second place.
Shawn has also been very vocal about her health struggles in recent years. In November 2015, she revealed she suffered from an eating disorder ahead of the 2008 Olympics, and in October 2017 she took to YouTube to tell fans she had a miscarriage just two days after she and her husband, Andrew East, discovered they were pregnant.
Season 9: Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson
Donny remains one of the oldest male winners (he was 52 years old when he performed on the show). He returned to the ballroom as a guest judge for Disney Night on season 18. Then, in 2014, he was a guest judge on the British version of the show, Strictly Come Dancing.
Season 10: Nicole Scherzinger & Derek Hough
The former Pussycat Dolls singer has been keeping busy since taking home a mirrorball, playing judge on The Sing-Off and the U.S. and U.K. versions of The X Factor and the beloved role of Maureen in the Hollywood Bowl production of Rent in 2010, directed by Neil Patrick Harris. She also released two solo albums, Killer Love in 2011 and Big Fat Lie in 2014.
As for her personal life, Nicole has been dating Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov for the past two years. Following his ATP Singles win in November 2017, Grigor adorably thanked his "girlfriend" while accepting his trophy.
Season 11: Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough
Nobody can take Baby out of the ballroom! After winning DWTS, Jennifer filled in for head judge Len Goodman on the BBC One TV show Strictly Come Dancing in 2011.
She also appeared in Lifetime's Bling Ring and voiced Mrs. Kurokawa in the English-dubbed version of Hayao Miyazaki's film, The Wind Rises.
And as of November 2017, we're happy to report she's still dancing!
Season 12: Hines Ward & Kym Johnson
Shortly after competing on the show, the former NFL star decided to try a different form of competition. In 2012, he began training for the 2013 Ironman World Championships.
He competed in the Ironman Kansas in June 2013 with a finish time of 5:53:18, which earned him the overall rank of 623. He then completed the Ironman World Championships in October of that same year, finishing with a time of 13:08:15.
Season 13: J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff
The former U.S. Army soldier has remained in the spotlight since winning DWTS. In 2012, he served as the Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. He also starred on the syndicated action series, SAF3.
He's also a proud father to a daughter, Lauryn Anabelle. He proposed to Lauryn's mother, Diana Gonzalez-Jones, in November 2017.
Season 14: Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
Donald officially announced his retirement from the NFL in January 2013 after playing his entire professional career with the Green Bay Packers. A few months later, a street was named after Donald, along with a statue dedicated in his honor. Both are located on the corner of Dousman Street and Donald Driver Way (formerly Pearl Street) in downtown Green Bay.
One year later, Donald created the Donald Driver Driven to Achieve Awards. As of November 2017, the foundation has honored 18 recipients and has given away over $1,000,000.
Season 15: Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
"Life has been amazing, both personally and professionally, after winning the mirrorball," the former Bachelor star and Dallas Cowboys cheerleader told ET in an exclusive interview. "My family has grown, we've created a great life in Dallas, and, professionally, I'm doing things I've only ever dreamed of!"
"The biggest change since winning is that I have a career," she joked. "After competing on my first season of DWTS, I was blessed with a job at Good Morning America. After the 'All-Star' season, I then hosted the DWTS tour and was given hosting and correspondent jobs for some amazing shows. I'm lucky enough to host a nationally syndicated morning talk show from my home base in Dallas these days. My dream job, right in my backyard. I feel pretty lucky!"
Season 16: Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough
"Working with the entire DWTS team was so much fun," Kellie gushed to ET. "They are unbelievable and true professionals and helped me accomplish something I never thought I could. My life has definitely taken some unexpected, but wonderful turns since DWTS, including my reality show on CMT, I Love Kellie Pickler, and my new syndicated daytime talk show, Pickler & Ben."
Kellie also revealed that she still dances, but "definitely not ballroom."
"Occasionally a freestyle with my husband in the kitchen," she said, laughing. "He's not as good as Derek, but he tries! But honestly, DWTS was a true blessing, and if asked, I would do it again in a heartbeat."
Season 17: Amber Riley & Derek Hough
Moments after taking home the DWTS title, the former Glee star told ET, "I just never really thought about winning, until maybe the last two weeks when I was just like, 'You know what? I had needles in my knees, obviously I want this more than I am willing to admit.' So, I didn't know. I honestly just didn't know who was going to win. It could have been anybody."
Today, fans can catch Amber playing the lead role of Effie White in the musical Dreamgirls on the West End in London, a role that landed her the 2017 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
She also appeared as a judge on the BBC One musical theatre talent show, Let It Shine, in 2017.
Season 18: Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
For this Olympic athlete, doing DWTS opened a number of new opportunities that allowed her to prove she can perform outside of the world of competitive figure skating.
"Learning new dances and styles from week to week made me fall even more in love with the special way we can express ourselves through movement, on the ice and off," she explained to ET. "As [skate partner] Charlie White and I continue to perform in figure skating tours around the world, it's a pleasure to draw from our mutual experiences on the show to further enhance our performances."
In addition to skating, Meryl's had a few opportunities to continue dancing outside of the ice rink.
"I participated in Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy's show, SWAY, several times, and now perform regularly in Cheryl Burke's tour, Love on the Floor," said Meryl, who revealed she keeps her mirrorball on the mantle at her parents' home in Michigan. "I also loved returning to DWTS to dance with Maks for the show's 10th anniversary special."
Season 19: Alfonso Ribeiro & Witney Carson
Like Emmitt, Alfonso has become a DWTS legend! The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star has returned to the show plenty of times since nabbing the mirrorball, most recently during the show's 25th season to dance with Witney and Frankie Muniz for Trio Night.
Additionally, he returned as a guest judge during season 21 and filled in for host Tom Bergeron that same season. He was later named Tom's successor to host America's Funniest Home Videos.
Season 20: Rumer Willis & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
The eldest daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore helped Val to his first-ever DWTS victory! Val received his second mirrorball trophy with gymnast Laurie Hernandez during the show's 23rd season.
Since then, Rumer has remained close with the Chmerkovskiy family, serving as a bridesmaid in Maks and Peta Murgatroyd's wedding. DWTS also helped kick Rumer's career into high gear. After competing on the show, she joined Val on the DWTS: Perfect 10 Tour, starred as Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway and appeared on season three of Fox's musical-drama Empire premiere.
Season 21: Bindi Irwin & Derek Hough
Thanks to Bindi's incredible journey on the show, Derek received his sixth mirrorball this season, making him the most victorious pro dancer in the show's history.
As for Bindi, she has since learned how to drive, has taken college courses in business and tourism and is continuing to live out her late father, Steve Irwin's, legacy as a wildlife conservationist in Australia. She's also still head over heels for her boyfriend, Chandler Powell.
"I think what's really wonderful about Chandler is that no matter what is happening, he's always there for me and he always makes me smile and laugh and it's brilliant to have someone so kind who really understands your world," she gushed to ET. "He loves wildlife, he loves conservation and he's just really passionate about making a difference and he's always such a kind person, which is great."
Season 22: Nyle DiMarco & Peta Murgatroyd
"My life has completely changed, for the better!" Nyle told ET of life after the mirrorball. "I created a foundation, the Nyle DiMarco Foundation, and through it I'm able to inspire and raise awareness. Our goal is to improve education rights for 1.2 billion people with disabilities including 360 million deaf people who do not have access to formal education."
"The biggest change would be my normal life, especially within my deaf community," he continued. "I mean, I wanted to become a math teacher. I thought that after America's Next Top Model I would be able to go back and begin my teaching career. I thought wrong... DWTS was a phenomenal opportunity that, like ANTM, gave me a platform that I wouldn’t have necessarily had as a teacher."
Nyle, who keeps his mirrorball at home in his office, also told ET that he's currently co-writing a scripted series that he's "very passionate and excited" about. "I believe Hollywood is ready for new story angles and searching for diversity on TV," he explained. "I want to share more of my experiences and tell stories that represent my community."
Season 23: Laurie Hernandez & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Immediately after being crowned the season 23 champion of DWTS, the Olympic gymnast told ET that winning a mirrorball "almost" felt the same as winning a gold medal.
"I'm just so excited I was able to have this opportunity," she said at the time. "Even beyond the show, I just feel like I really sprouted as a person and I've surrounded myself with so many amazing people that I can now call family, so that's cool."
Competing at just 16 years old, Laurie remains one of the show's youngest winners. She joined the DWTS Live! Tour, and returned to the ballroom during season 25 to dance with her former partner and Victoria Arlen during Trio Night.
Season 24: Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater
The former NFL pro admitted to ET that dance is "addicting." Since taking home the shiny accolade, Rashad hasn't been able to hang up his dance shoes just yet. We've seen him showing off his newly acquired skills via Instagram plenty of times, and he recently returned for season 25 to dance with Emma and Property Brothers star Drew Scott during Trio Night. Plus, he still enjoys giving advice to future contestants.
"The closer you get to the end, the more fun you should try to have," he explained in an interview with ET. "It's not easy to get to the end of the competition, so if you do, make it a celebration!"
"It takes hard work and dedication," he continued. "If the couples put in the hours and take the advice from the judges and from their partners and apply it, they will dramatically increase their chances of making it to the finale. Competition is stiff, but somebody's gotta win it. Might as well be you!"
In the last night of the finals, Fisher and Arnold beat out Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas -- the season's runner-ups -- as well as third place finishers Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson.
The former Disney Channel star and his partner performed two flawless routines -- first a samba, and then a salsa/paso doble fusion -- both of which earned them perfect 30s in the final night of competition.
It was also announced during the show that both Fisher and Muniz will be joining the DWTS winter tour, Dancing with the Stars: Live! - Light Up the Night, alongside their partners and some of the show's most popular pros.
-- Additional reporting by Angelique Jackson & Brendon Geoffrion