Entertainment

Iman Shumpert Wins Dancing With the Stars After Incredible Freestyle Dance

Basketball player Iman Shumpert and his partner, Daniella Karagach, took home the crown in Dancing With the Stars‘ finale on November 22, beating out JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson, who were the favorites to win. 

It was a historic night all around. Shumpert made history as the first NBA player to win the show, and Siwa and Johnson were the competition’s first same-sex pairing. 

So what tipped the scales in Shumpert’s favor? His incredible freestyle dance, which he performed to Missy Elliott’s hit song “Lose Control.” Guest judge Julianne Hough called it her favorite DWTS freestyle ever. Watch it for yourself, below. 

And watch the moment Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach were announced as the winners here. Host Tyra Banks is visibly shocked but nonetheless ecstatic. 

“Why not say yes and take on a challenge?” Shumpert told Sports Illustrated when asked about his decision to do DWTS. “While I’m working on basketball, if I’m doing some other stuff I’m attached to, maybe I won’t be as pissed I’m not on a team.”

And when asked about the most difficult part of the show, he said, “The most challenging part is remembering the steps. A lot of the music that we’re doing isn’t the music that I’ve been accustomed to dancing to. Even though like ‘Hey Ya’ is one of my favorite songs when I’m riding in the car with my family, it’s not a song that I usually get up and go into the jive. So I think that the biggest challenge is trying to remember the steps to music that I’m familiar with as far as dancing and then trying to dance within the structure of whatever that ballroom dance is. Sometimes you’re listening to a song and you want to just move the way you want to move, but you’ve got to stay strict to that ballroom style. That’s probably why some of my scores don’t reflect the showmanship that a crowd would see.”

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