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Season 31 of Dancing With the Stars officially crowned Charli D'Amelio its winner, ending the historic installment with one last surprise. The finale also marked Len Goodman's final appearance as head judge but it seems like it'll take some time for Carrie Ann Inaba to come to terms with this reality.
As viewers may know, before the Dancing With the Stars season 31 finale, Len announced he was retiring following 17 years on the now-Disney+ show. When he revealed the news on live TV, fellow judge Carrie Ann appeared to take it particularly hard. Shortly after, she opened up on Instagram Live about her raw feelings concerning the latest DWTS twist.
"Len has made the announcement that he is retiring," she said in the clip. "We all had a little toast here in my dressing room after the show, Len, Bruno [Tonioli] and I ... I have to say, we all bawled."
She continued: "It was heartbreaking ... He's become like my family and he's just been so special and I'm sad. It's the honest truth — I'm sad."
"But I know Len, and he wouldn't want us to be all emotional. Even though I would be emotional earlier on in the seasons and he'd be like, 'Pull it together.' I love him for that," the TV personality concluded.
As Carrie Ann praised Len for his tenure on Dancing With the Stars, fans became sentimental with her. They quickly filled up the comments section with their own words of kudos for him.
"Len is simply the best! Definitely needs a much bigger send off! ❤️," one person wrote on Instagram. "We love you Len Goodman ❤️," another user noted. "Sorry to see Len go! He’s a class act and will be missed! Congratulations Len! Enjoy your retirement!" a different follower added.
While the statement of Len's exit certainly was one Carrie Ann didn't see coming, she was still nostalgic for the good times they all had throughout Dancing With the Stars' 31 seasons. She later reflected on how special the show was for allowing her, Len and Bruno to continue judging every season, something she noted as being a rarity in TV.
"From day one, there's not many shows that have their original judges," she said in the video. "Thank you, Dancing With the Stars for keeping us all. But I want to say it's a testament to what the show is all about, which is dancing, because we're all dancers ... It was always about being a part of something."
Carrie Ann concluded: "Let's just give a shoutout to Len. I love you Len."
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