Masked Dancer crowns Gabby Douglas as winner in Cotton Candy costume during emotional finale that left fans ‘shocked’
THE MASKED Dancer crowned Gabby Douglas in the Cotton Candy costume as the winner during tonight’s emotional season finale.
The Olympic gold medalist broke down in tears just before she beat out DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Dance Moms alum Mackenzie Ziegler for the title.
The audience along with judges Brian Austin Green, Paula Abdul, Ken Jeong and Ashley Tisdale were forced to choose between top three finalists The Tulip, The Sloth and Cotton Candy for the number one dancer.
Gabby did impressive flips and tricks during her final routine to Alicia Keys’ inspirational hit, Girl On Fire.
High School Musical star Ashley, 35, was moved to tears after Cotton Candy impressed with several flips during her last dance.
“That was so beautiful, truly you were stunning,” the Disney Channel actress gushed.
Before she was unveiled, Paula was the only panel member to correctly guess the World Champion gymnast.
Ken was adamant the performer was ice skater Michelle Kwan while Brian said another ice champion – Tara Lapinski.
Mom-to-be Ashley, meanwhile, believed it was Gabby’s Rio teammate, Simone Biles.
Moments before she was unmasked, Gabby, 25, also broke down in tears as she was overcome with emotion for the big win.
Her fans felt it too, with one tweeting: “Crying real tears for #cottoncandy on #TheMaskedDancer.”
“That beautiful performance by #CottonCandyMask could have been the one to out her over the top! So athletic, dynamic, and emotional. I cheered through every second,” another wrote.
A third viewer said: “Was shocked when Tulip took third, but so excited for @gabrielledoug for her big first place finish!! Girlfriend earned it! #TeamCottonCandy Also dying that the Sloth was @MaksimC, tears of joy such a great cast all around!”
“I knew it wouldn’t be the obvious choice! Congratulations Gabby Douglas! Very well deserved! I’m already pumped for Season 2,” a fourth exclaimed.
The Sloth came in second place and stunned the audience when it was revealed to be Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Paula and Brian both insisted correctly that the furry creature was the Dancing With The Stars pro.
While Ken believed the animal was Channing Tatum and Ashley admitted her guess was Hugh Jackman.
The Tulip came in third place and was unmasked to be Maddie Ziegler’s little sister, Mackenzie.
Paula’s final guess was actress Liza Koshy while Ken predicted it was Pretty Little Liar, Lucy Hale.
90210 alum Brian explained the pink flower was child star Sabrina Carpenter while Ashley assumed the third-placer was correctly predicting the Dance Mom’s star.
Last week, Olympic gold medalist boxer Oscar De La Hoya was unveiled as The Zebra.
Once his identity was shared, the 48-year-old said: “This is the best experience I’ve ever had. But it was a lot harder than boxing.”
The 11-time boxing world champ was the 7th person sent home during the first season of The Masked Dancer – a spinoff to the popular The Masked Singer series.
Ice-T was unmasked during the premiere episode of the series, followed by the big reveal of Bill Nye the Science Guy being unmasked after competing as the Ice Cube.
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During the third episode, kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart was revealed to be competing as Miss Moth.
Meanwhile, singer Brian McKnight was then unmasked after he was eliminated while competing as The Cricket.
Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino was then revealed as The Hammerhead, while Jordin Sparks was unmasked as the Exotic Bird the week after.