Drum roll, please.
And the winner is… Alfonso Ribeiro!
The former Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor took home the trophy in the Season 19 finale of the popular show, after a season of breaking the expectations fans — and the judges — had about the actor, who is said to have been “pigeon holed” by playing a character as iconic as Carlton.
Alfonso and his partner, Whitney, were favored to win by multiple news outlets, including Hollywood Life, which said of the now-winner, “Of all the contestants, Alfonso has been the one who always looked like he was having the absolute best time every week. His enthusiasm has been completely contagious and we have seen it infecting his entire body. In his eyes, smile and all the way down to his happy feet. And this is despite the fact that he’s been suffering from groin and back injuries. He’s had to dance through his pain, and none of the judges or his fans would have known it from his performances.”
Some of Alfonso’s more memorable performances from the season included his famous — or maybe infamous — “Carlton dance,” as well as a freestyle tap dance. Both earned him perfect scores and rave reviews from the judges; as Bruno Tonioli put it, it was “how you tap your way to the top.”
Alfonso’s enthusiasm was so apparent all season, maybe because he’s said he wanted to appear on Dancing with the Stars for years.
“I’ve always wanted to do the show,” he’s said. “When they finally came to me and offered me the opportunity to do this season I was totally into it and thought it would be great.”