'Dancing With the Stars' crowns a winner
Posted November 27, 2012
It's a wrap. We have an all-star winner!
Season 15 of Dancing With the Stars came to an end Tuesday in a two-hour finale, crowning "the best of the best," as host Tom Bergeron put it.
There were waltzes down memory lane with recap clips, never-before-seen confessionals and behind-the-scenes outtakes in the two hours before the Big Mirror Ball News was announced.
The show started with Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough doing an encore of their Monday night high-energy supersized freestyle with the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team.
The season's entire cast of celebs returned to the ballroom for a comedic critique by Kenny Mayne, Jerry Rice and Len Goodman in "Dance Center," and then they hit the floor for short, sexy, fun and sweet dances.
The three finalists - Melissa Rycroft, Kelly Monaco and Shawn Johnson - had to perform one last dance for judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli after picking the theme and music from a big mirrorball bowl. Kelly picked Cat and Mouse and jive. Melissa picked Life is a Highway and samba. Shawn wound up with Respect and cha-cha.
As they went off to rehearse, the all-stars performed. Some highlights:
-Drew Lachey brought his daughter, Isabella, 6, out to join him for his number with pro Anna Trebunskaya. The little girl looked like a natural in tennies and a sparkly hoodie.
-Gilles Marini led a gang of celebs that included Kirstie Alley, Kelly and Emmitt Smith to revive their Gangnam Style number from Guilty Pleasures week earlier in the season.
-Joey Fatone went back in time to tell his younger self to "lay off the French fries a little bit" and start learning the cha-cha "now", then fast-forwarded back to the ballroom for a time-traveling routine with partner Kym Johnson.
-To Call Me Maybe, Helio Castroneves, Sabrina Bryan, Drew and Apolo Anton Ohno re-did their cheerleader-football dance.
The Dance Center guys took a minute to mock Shawn's laugh, Melissa's empty head and Kelly's romance with Val Chmerkovskiy. Asked Kenny Mayne, "Did they or didn't they?" Replied Jerry Rice, "Oh, they definitely did."
Finally, the finalists took the floor.
Kelly and Val danced a cute jive that was playful and included flicks, kicks and Val taking off his shirt (of course!). Len said Kelly was "clean, crisp" and her "spins were fantastic. ... Well done." Bruno said they had the "energy of two young, randy rabbits, going at each other." But, he noted, they sometimes "lost a bit of balance." Carrie Ann said they were "fantastic," too, but noted the "little slip." Kelly told host Brooke Burke-Charvet after the dance, "I'm kind of numb right now. It's bittersweet." Brooke again asked about their romance. "I hope everybody could have friendships like this," said Kelly. The crowd laughed. Val said, "It's a relationship that I cherish." Scores: 9.5, 9.5, 9.5 = 28.5 Total: 87.5.
Melissa and partner Tony Dovolani danced a sizzling samba that showed off Melissa's long legs, not to mention her rock-hard abs and lower-back tattoo. Bruno called her a "siren," and said she did a "great job." Carrie Ann said she had "beautiful lines" but "rushed the music a hair." Len said, "You have been my greatest pleasure to watch." Tony explained to Brooke after the dance that he was "proud" of Melissa. "Tony and I both learned we're stronger than we gave each other credit for," said Melissa. Scores: 9.5, 9.5, 9.5 = 28.5 Total: 88.5.
Shawn and Derek Hough danced their instant cha-cha in typical sharp, impressive fashion, with a move that had Shawn jumping into the air and landing in splits, and Derek jumping over Shawn. Carrie Ann said, "You are nothing less than perfection." Len said, "That was fantastic." Bruno said, "One thing's for sure: You're going out with a bang!" Afterward, Shawn told Brooke, "Hopefully, I made this guy proud," and she hugged Derek. "It's been a special season," said Derek. Scores: 10, 10, 10 = 30 Total: 87.
Clutching their partners nervously, all three stars waited to hear the results.
Coming in third place: Kelly Monaco. "The journey was amazing," said Kelly. "This guy is the most incredible man and he's the most talented dancer out there. He taught somebody who has no idea how to stand on both of her feet and talk at the same time how to dance gracefully."
Second place: Shawn Johnson and her partner Derek Hough.
And the winner is ... Melissa Rycroft! And her pro partner Tony Dovolani. They smiled as confetti and streamers covered them - and their new mirror ball trophy.
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