- Publish Date
- Thursday, 26 May 2016, 9:40AM
It was an emotional ending last night for season 22 of "Dancing with the Stars."
In the end, the winner couldn't hear the applause and cheers, but he still felt the love.
Deaf contestant Nyle DiMarco and his partner Peta Murgatroyd were awarded the Mirror Ball trophy after wowing in the show's final.
The pair were fan favourites throughout the competition and the 27-year-old model was hailed for being able to dance so well despite not being able to hear.
"You have been incredible," judge Bruno Tonioli said after the pair completed a cha-cha/tango fusion dance. "Nyle, you have given us season 22's most memorable performances."
But it was judge Carrie Ann Inaba who brought DiMarco, and the audience, to tears after she spoke to Nyle in sign language.
After his performance - for which he scored the full 30 points, she told him: "That was a beautiful way to end the season. But Nyle, I just want to say something to you. Because you've spoken to us so eloquently in our language of dance, I want to say this to you and I hope I get it right."
Recalling what she said in an interview, he shared via a translator: "She said, 'Thank you for sharing what's in my heart', and that's what really touched me because that's my goal every week. I really want to connect with the audience and teach them what it really means to be deaf."
Whilst judge Len Goodman added: "The only boundaries are the ones we put on ourselves. You don't get a sympathy vote from me. I just judge on what I see, and I'm telling you, you deserve to be in this final. And you just proved it tonight."
Speaking after their win, Peta spoke of the "incredible experience" of the show, which she says she owes to him entirely.
She said: "This is such an amazing feeling. This whole thing has been so incredible because of this man. I owe everything to him."
Nyle also spoke of his close connection with Peta, revealing they enjoyed "learning about each other's worlds".
He told Entertainment Tonight: "The first week that we worked together, she was already starting to learn my language and my culture. She was very curious. She did the right thing right out of the chute. It really was about learning about each other's worlds and I think that message was really strong."