Dancing with the Stars crowned Marvel star XochtIl Gomez as the season 32 winner - but it was her partnership with professional partner Val Chmerkovskiy that fans have adored seeing blossom over the last 12 weeks.
Xochitl, 17, and Val, 37, were paired up by the producers and after week one it was clear they had a connection and had bonded, with Xochitl praising the dancer and also lovingly calling him "dis fool" in an emotional Instagram post after week.
"This was so much fun! We survived the first night & Thank you for supporting #TeamXV. Words can’t express how grateful I am to be paired with dis fool @valentin!" she captioned her Instagram post after night one.
Their friendship continued with Xochitl regularly thanking Val for "being the best partner I could ever wish for".
After they made it to the semi-finals, she wrote on social media: "@valentin you’re the best partner I could ask for and I love performing alongside you, I appreciate your patience, dedication, and ur ability to be a GOOFBALL!"
"WHAT A GUY! He’s been the best teacher and an even better friend. He managed to showcase my growth on the show but most importantly our growth as a pair with this dance," she added.
Val also shared his love for his celebrity partner, thanking her in one emotional post for bringing "so much joy into my life, into my work, into my passion," and later thanking her for turning his year around."
"Thank you to @_xochitl.gomez for trusting me and @dancingwiththestars for trusting me with Xochitl," he wrote on social media before the final, writing: "What a privilege it is for me to be having the season I’m having. It’s been quite a year. Ups and downs. Health challenges. So these days I’ve been lucky to enjoy for the past couple of months, they have been a beautiful fortune."
In March Val revealed that he had undergone neck surgery and lost the ability to move, sharing video of himself in hospital and wearing a neck brace. This year also saw Val and wife Jenna Johnson, also a professional dancer, welcome their first son Rome.
"This has easily been one of my favorite seasons on DWTS, and I’ve been a part of many. I’ll keep it brief because we still got a show tomorrow. It’s been a real honor to be given such a powerful talent to guide. Xochitl is a force, and I’m looking forward to seeing her shine for many many years to come. Imma say I taught her some ballroom," he added in another post.
Xochitl, in the comments, replied and revealed more details of their bond – including sharing that they had plans for her to babysit his son, Rome.
"Imma miss you bro, this week was filled with gratitude and joy. But U AINT GETTIN RID OF ME THAT EASY, I still gotta baby sit Rome!!! But fr heading into the show tomorrow we gonna enjoy every moment and have fun out there. LOVE U DUDE."
"Val is the whole package, I’m tellin’ ya. Incredible dad, husband, dancer, choreographer, teacher, poet, and violinist… dang! Luv u dude. I’m so honored to have u beside me for this adventure," she commented on another post.
Throughout the weeks, Xochitl had also shared videos of Val during rehearsals on her TikTok, getting him involved in dances and memes, and in a recent video for IMDb they revealed how well they knew each other, including rattling off the other's coffee order - black iced coffee for Val, and three shots of espresso with iced oat milk for Xochitl.
During the finale, for which they received two perfect scores, Xochitl opened up about her experience on the ABC show, sharing that she and Val made the decision to root "everything in fun, and to not be too serious because for me if things are too serious and I overthink things too much I dont enjoy it," and it is clear that the two have truly found a way to root every dance – from the jive to Argentine Tango – in respect and love and fun.