Tony Dovolani Finally Wins Dancing With the Stars After 15 Seasons: "This Is Unbelievable!"
Good things come to those who wait!
After 15 seasons -- and some truly infamous celebrity partners -- Dancing With the Stars pro Tony Dovolani finally earned his first Mirror Ball trophy when he and Melissa Rycroft were declared the All-Stars season winners Nov. 27.
"This is unbelievable!" Dovolani, 39, told Us Weekly after the show. "I can't thank you enough for the support. I felt all your support. Today is an incredible day. It's my wife and my anniversary today -- 13 years! -- and it's the 100th anniversary of independence for Albanians today, so it's an incredible, incredible moment, and I thank you all. For me, for my family, for everyone. This is so great. It's unbelievable!"
When the dancing duo were named the new champs, beating Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough and Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy, "I went spastic," Dovolani admitted. "I lost it. I literally lost it! I don't know how to describe this."
Dovolani said he plans to give the trophy to his children, Luana, Adrian and Ariana. "I'm coming home as a champion and they deserve to see their daddy win," he told Us. "I worked hard all my life and this is a special moment for my kids."
Rycroft, meanwhile, plans to share her victory with the world. "Maybe I'll put it in my front yard or on top of my car," she said. "Anywhere where everyone can see it!"
Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC
The Bachelor alum (and mom to daughter Ava, 21 months, with husband Tye Strickland) was particularly surprised by the final results. "I can't even sum up what's happened to my life in the past four years. It is unbelievable," she told Us. "Everything has been unexpected and I've just kind of learned to go with the flow and take everything with a grain of salt. . . I've been blessed with a lot of really good things in my life and I want to take advantage of it and always know when to smile. Things are good right now! I have no complaints and I feel very blessed. I've gotten married, I've had a baby, and now this moment is third best in my life!"
To celebrate, Rycroft plans to return home to Dallas to spend time with her family and "just enjoy being a mom again."
For Dovolani -- who's had nightmare partners including Kate Gosselin and Wendy Williams -- the win was a long time coming. "I've paid my dues, but it was worth 14 seasons to get someone like Melissa," he told Us of the ex-cheerleader, who first competed with Dovolani in season 8. "It was worth it for this moment, this unbelievable moment, this incredible ride. All the stars have to align sometimes and tonight they did! This moment I have to share with all of our fans. We thought we were going home week one!"
Added Rycroft, 29, "We just wanted to do our best and leave some kind of impression, but never thought that we'd be the champions, never thought we'd be the last ones standing. I wish we hadn't underestimated ourselves, but at the same time, it kind of makes us even more proud of what we've accomplished. Once this dies down, I'm going to look back and reflect on what we've done because it feels pretty incredible."