The first season of Fox’s celebrity reality show Stars on Mars came to an end Monday with retired figure skater Adam Rippon taking home the title as “the brightest star in the galaxy.”
Rippon earned a bronze medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics as part of the figure skating team event, and would go on to win season 26 of Dancing with the Stars later that year while paired with dancer Jenna Johnson. And now he can add Stars on Mars to his championship resume.
The show featured 12 varied personalities living together in an environment meant to simulate life on the planet Mars, with people being deemed least mission-critical sent home each week. There were also numerous celebs — like Lance Armstrong and Ariel Winter — who left on their own along the way..
After competing together in team challenges throughout the season, the finale came down to a head-to-head battle with one final mission: whoever can assemble a satellite tower the fastest gets to broadcast their own personalized message to Earth.
It was down to the final three crew mates, and after a series of multiple choice questions gave Rippon a head start on building a tower and left reality star Porsha Williams packing her bags, it was up to singer Tinashe to try and catch up with Rippon and complete the mission first. In the end, Rippon’s head start was enough to earn him the victory, which came with a small desk award given to him by host William Shatner.
But for the real prize — and with the insertion of a DVD into the satellite — Rippon’s own personal message was beamed all the way from “Mars” to viewers everywhere:
“From Mars, this is Adam Rippon. When I began my journey here on the red planet I had no idea what to expect. I quickly learned that being hot doesn’t make you a great astronaut, which feels like… it should be a little bit. More importantly I learned that life is all about the journey and the connections you make. So let the ones you’re close to know how much they mean to you as often as possible. I’m sending you so much love and I can’t wait to see you back on Earth.”
And one of those people was Rippon himself, who told EW: “I think she played the game the best. She was so good. She was a great leader. She was a great friend. There were so many times where maybe I was struggling and she helped me. I was in the mindset of ‘I’m gonna do my best, but Tinashe should win.'”
After Rippon was crowned as winner, the runner-up Tinashe said she was “so happy” that he won due to his “growth over the competition.”
As for Rippon he got everything he wanted: his message broadcast to the world, an award from William Shatner and a pretty prestigious title.
“I am Adam Rippon, and I’m the brightest star in the galaxy,” he said to close the show.
Stars on Mars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.