Dancing With The Stars 2019: Samuel Johnson Crowned This Year's Champion!
Samuel Johnson has been crowned the winner of this season's 'Dancing With The Stars' after a near-flawless evening of performances.
After reaching the top two with along Courtney Act -- Sam could hardly believe it when his name was called out as the winner of the entire competition, hugging his professional dance partner, Jorja Freeman.
As he accepted the shiny mirrorball trophy, he reminded host Grant Denyer that he'd been the one to hand Grant his Gold Logie -- and now the roles were serendipitously reversed.
Sam graciously told the crowd that"Courtney was the better dancer!" before vowing to keep "kicking cancer in the face" with the $50,000 he just earned for his Love Your Sister charity.
Sam's first dance of the grand finale was a recreation of his Week 6 "Mr Bojangles" jazz number. Wearing suspenders and bowler hat, Sam beamed from ear to ear as he swung around the lampost for the last time, twirling Jorja with effortless style.
He explained that the song had accompanied him through his youth and that his dad had the Nina Simone record in his collection. Sam said that to dance to the song during the final show just "couldn't be real".
"The power of dance can transform your life, it can transform the soul," he added after the joy-filled performance. "I don’t care what happens tonight because I get to dance…”
He earned a near-perfect score for the encore, with two 10s from Sharna Burgess and Tristan MacManus -- and a 9 from Craig Revel Horwood.
Sam's second performance of the evening scored him another massive 29 after a showstopping freestyle dance that earned him a comparison to Hugh Jackman from Grant.
"I’ve gone from the kid glued to the wall at the blue light disco to the grand finale of Dancing With The Stars," said Samuel.
Johnson has won $50,000 for his Love Your Sister Charity, which he started in 2012 with his sister, Connie Johnson. Before Connie passed away in 2017, Sam promised her that he'd raise $10 million for cancer research -- and he's already passed the $9.1 mil mark.
During Week 3, Sam performed an emotional contemporary routine in honour of his 40+ year relationship with his sister after the dancers were told to pick their most memorable year. Johnson chose the year of Connie's death and poured his heart into the soulful, passionate and tear-jerking performance.
"I don't want people to think I'm being a downer, because it was an amazing year, so I want this dance to be a celebration of us -- brother and sister," he explained ahead of the performance.
Samuel and Jorja started their dance journey off strongly with a tango to Imagine Dragon's "Believer" earning the second-highest mark from the judges, just a few points behind Courtney and Josh.
Over the following weeks, the pair powered through their cha-cha, samba and jazz performances -- escaping elimination each time -- but it was Sam and Jorja's second turn at a certain Latin dance that really wowed the judges.
Their "redemption rumba" caused Sharna Burgess to declare it Sam's best performance of the entire season, to which Sam exclaimed, "I'm so flipping relieved!".
Sam paid tribute to his professional dance partner, Jorja, throughout the season, crediting her for getting him into shape on the dancefloor, both physically and mentally.
“I love Jorja and I’m convinced she’ll be a friend for life,” said Sam at the finale.
After his final performance, he promised that while he'd give Jorja a break, he was keen to keep dancing, setting his sights on conquering tap.
Congrats, Sam and Jorga, we couldn't be happier!
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