Olympic gymnast Alex Shatilov and dancer Nina Soloviev were crowned winners of the revived Israeli version of Dancing with the Stars, which wrapped up Monday evening with a lavish finale.
Shatilov and Soloviev won the competition after outscoring two other dancing duos who reached the finals: Comedian Adi Ashkenazi and her dancing partner Haim Perstein, and TV host Maayan Adam and her teammate Atrium Liaskowski, who took second and third place, respectively.
Dancing with the Stars - considered a massive global reality TV franchise - returned to the Israeli silver screen after a 10-year hiatus having been canceled in 2012 at the end of its seventh season due to low ratings.
The latest season was hosted by actress and journalist Lucy Ayoub, and featured a star studded cast that included Prof. Idit Matot of the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv - who rose to celebrity status for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Model Bar Zomer and singer Liran Danino were also among this season's participants.
The season’s judges panel consisted of veteran dancer Eli Mizrahi, choreographer David Dvir and former Dancing with the Stars contenders Rona-lee Shimon and Ana Aharonov.
Despite its success, the latest season of Dancing with the Stars received its fair share of criticism, directed mainly at the judges, who were lambasted for being overly forgiving, passing out compliments freely that often felt out of place.
"If this is a competitive show, judges should give scores accordingly and express a professional opinion," one critic said.
"If everyone dances so wonderfully, let's pack up and go home," another added.