The champ is here! Alan Bersten took home his first mirrorball trophy on Monday, November 25, winning season 28 of Dancing With the Stars with Hannah Brown. The choreographer, 25, was so excited, he couldn’t contain his emotions.
“I can’t even put into words how I feel,” he told Us Weekly and other reporters after the live finale. “It’s my first win! I cried like a baby. It was the best feeling in the world and I’m so proud of Hannah. I can’t believe this journey ended like this and I’m just happy.”
The duo didn’t have much time to celebrate on the west coast as they jumped a red-eye to New York almost immediately after the episode.
“We’re going to celebrate in New York and just take some time and enjoy this,” the So You Think You Can Dance alum said. “It’s been 11 weeks of nonstop work and fun and I’m just, I can’t even put into words the feeling that I got.”
He also shed light on choosing “Girl on Fire” and “Hollaback Girl” for the former Bachelorette’s freestyle number. “I feel like they really showed Hannah’s best light,” he told Us. “She’s so empowering and I wanted to show that.”
During the finale, both Brown, 25, and Bersten became emotional about the journey they were on together.
“This experience came at a time in my life where I wasn’t ready and didn’t feel like I could trust people, but working with you has allowed me to trust somebody again, and that is just as rewarding as getting the steps right and getting great scores,” she told him. “[It’s] something that is going to help me so much beyond this competition.”
Cohost Erin Andrews also revealed that Bersten was in “full tears” before the live show.
“This has been the most exceptional that I’ve ever experienced and I’m so grateful for such an amazing partner and someone who believed in me,” he told Andrews, 41, and Brown after the pair’s Viennese waltz. “I’m so honored that I could take you on this journey.”
With reporting by Kayley Stumpe