Three couples were in the finals of Dancing With The Stars, and while Paige VanZant was pegged as a favorite by most fans and even the judges, it wasn’t meant to be as she ended up as the runner-up on Season 22 of the popular show.
Prior to the announcement, the UFC star and her partner, Mark Ballas performed their final dance, a Jive and Salsa fusion which got perfect scores from the judges.
“Paige, you have delivered and set the standard from Day 1 of this competition, and you continue to set the standard. Awesome job!” judge Carrie Anne Inaba said.
“If this was judged purely on dance, you’re the one to beat,” judge Len Goodman said.
Unfortunately for the UFC star, it isn’t just based on their scores, as fan voting also played a big part determining the winner. Despite stellar reviews and having the highest total from the judges this season, VanZant ended up second to Nyle DiMarco, a deaf “America’s Next Top Model” winner.
Placing third, is “Good Morning America” meteorologist, Ginger Zee.
VanZant reportedly earned over six figures for her stint in the popular ABC show, with pay jumps after making the semi-final and final rounds. Apart from getting a surge in popularity from the exposure on Dancing With the Stars, the 22-year-old fighter also landed a movie role after being seen on the show.
“It’s amazing. I’m just so thankful that I got to have this opportunity,” VanZant said. “I’m going to remember it forever.”
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