Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver won the competition over Welsh classical crossover singer Katherine Jenkins and Cuban-American Telenovela star William Levy, who took 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Driver is also the third NFL player (including retired) to win, after Emmitt Smith & Hines Ward from season three and season twelve respectively.
The cast was revealed on February 28, 2012 on Good Morning America. All the professionals from season 13 returned except for Lacey Schwimmer, who was replaced by Chelsie Hightower. Two new professionals were added into the Dance Troupe: Henry Byalikov and Emma Slater. They joined Sharna Burgess, Kiki Nyemchek, Oksana Dmyrtenko, and Sasha Farber.
There was one dance for each finalist that they did not perform: Donald did not perform the Salsa, William did not perform the Waltz, and Katherine did not perform the Tango.
Starting the week of April 16, 2012 and for the next two weeks after that, the bottom two couples, after a combination of judges scores and viewer votes, competed in a dance-duel. Both couples performed at the same time and then the judges decided who left the competition that week.
This season introduced Ballroom Battles where Cheryl Burke, Mark Ballas, Louis Van Amstel, Lacey Schwimmer, Karina Smirnoff and Tony Dovolani chose a pair of amateur dancers and trained them to compete against other amateur couples. The teams of Burke, Dovolani and van Amstel competed in the final stage by performing a Jive. Burke's team were named champions by the judges with Dovolani's and van Amstel's teams taking second and third places respectively.
The 12 celebrities and professional dancers who competed were: