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New 'Dancing with the Stars' champion

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The ballroom has a new champion, and that person is Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, and her partner Mark Ballas.

It was a nail-biter down to the very end, as Melissa Rycroft was already relegated to third place, leaving Shawn and Gilles Marini standing and waiting as that thumping music played.
Host Tom Bergeron was beside himself as he revealed that only 1 percent separated Shawn and second-place finisher Gilles (and partner Cheryl Burke) when all the votes were counted, making this the closest finish in "Dancing" history.

In the end, it was toe-to-toe as the final three couples danced for one last round of judges' scores. Each nabbed a perfect "30" for their respective dances, but in the end, viewers' votes (combined with the judges' scores) that determined the champ for season 8.

Shawn, of course, was not my choice for champ, though she was an incredible dancer and competitor.

So for those of us who crossed our fingers and toes an hoped for a Gilles win, what happened?

Looking back, Gilles really blew it in the freestyle the night before, when he should have scored a perfect "30" if he and Cheryl had danced as well as they had the past five weeks straight. What were they thinking with that ridiculous "Flash Dance" number? We'll never know, but it probably cost them the trophy.

I will not soon forget Gilles Marini's exquisite dances, throughout the season, none more than that passionate, sexy, fiery, precise and sensuous Argentine tango that he and partner Cheryl Burke reprised tonight. And what about their stunning Viennese waltz? Pulsating paso doble? Judge Len Goodman said it for many of us when he commented that no dancer this season has given him more pleasure to watch than Gilles.

Bachelorette Melissa Rycroft (and her partner Tony Dovolani) had to settle for third place, but as she stated most graciously, her life has "completely changed in the past 11 weeks." Believe me, she's headed for bigger television pastures than the ballroom. Weep not for her this time around.

Here's to next season of "Dancing with the Stars"!

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19 Comments

Yes this year will be interesting.

I won't be watching DWTS again after this ridiculous result. Shawn should not have been in the final, she looked awkward, stiff, not graceful at all, stomped around the floor and threw in gymnastic moves that weren't that impressive. It was a travesty that Little Kim wasn't in the final with Gilles and Melissa. Yes, it's a popularity contest but it becomes a joke when one of the mediocre competitors walks away the winner.

I wholeheartedly concur with all of the commentaries posted except for the ones posted by Jenn, Anonymous (the 05.19.09, 11:38 pm posting – NO, MELISSA DIDN’T DESERVE TO WIN albeit she was deserving of a second place finish), and Bob Pasden. I sensed something was amiss when the announcement of Shawn's win appeared on the internet at least 30 min. prior to the TV aired announcement at which point I just turned off the TV. If the final outcome wasn't the result of some fishy underhanded rigging, then I would gladly eat my hat (if I could). Shawn's freestyle routine was merely a combo "cheer leader/pom-pom girl" romp around the dance floor. Gilles out danced, out classed, and out sassed Shawn, hands down; she's not even in the same league with him. All I can say is, shame-shame-shame on ABC and the producers of Dancing With the Stars. This is one fan that's done with DWTS.

Except for those posted by Jenn, and Bob Pasden, I wholeheartedly concur with all of the commentaries posted. I sensed something was amiss when the announcement of Shawn's win appeared on the internet at least 30 min. prior to the TV aired announcement at which point I just turned off the TV. If the final outcome wasn't the result of some fishy underhanded rigging, then I would gladly eat my hat (if I could). Shawn's freestyle routine was merely a combo "cheer leader/pom-pom girl" romp around the dance floor. Gilles out danced, out classed, and out sassied Shawn, hands down; she's not even in the same league with him. All I can say is, shame-shame-shame on ABC and the producers of Dancing With the Stars. This is one fan that's done with DWTS.

I agree with the previous posts that this is quite the egregious result in terms of a judging/voting. 1. Giles 2. Mellissa 3. Lil Kim 4. Shawn J. Throughout her final performances, Shawn J exhibited mechanical gymnastic arm movement and nearly adequate footwork. I had a sense of foreboding early on with Shawn J when I saw her seemingly get inflated scores from the judges with virtually no criticism. I imagine that the judges may have been afraid to be critical of a 17 year old who looks 12 and has Olympic pedigree.

How many of you that are so outraged actually voted? And if you really think it was fixed, don't you think ABC would have tried to save some face in the wake of the Bachelor and have Melissa be the winner? Its a reality TV dancing competition with celebrities. Sure Shawn used some of her gymnastics in her FREESTYLE but hey, that's what it was a FREESTYLE. Meaning she could do what she wanted to in it, as could, and did the others. They chose to do what they wanted. Shawn's Freestyle, was fun and age appropriate, and truth be told, she could have thrown in a LOT more gymnastics than she did. Its a reality TV show, its all about the ratings.

Although my heart was pulling for Melissa, objectively I thought that Gilles was the best dancer. Shawn is a very good dancer but not better than the other two in my opinion. Is it possible that she won and Gilles lost because Americans didn't want to see a foreigner win the title?

Just goes to show you that this show is fixed. Gilles should have won. His scores had proved it. Or even Melissa should have won. Why Shawn J??? I think she won based cause she is cute and the youngest and a gymist. just like you picked Kristy Yamaguchi. This was definately based on there ability and progress to dance this season. Just because shes cute and the youngest doesnt qualify her. Im sure there are alot of people disappointed by this decision. Well based on the fact that this decision and that the 2 better dancers didnt win just made my decision not to watch next season nor quite a many people I know who I spoke to already. THE SHOW IS FIXED SOMEHOW. Good luck next season to whomever will win and the next seasons show pick.

I thought this was a ballroom dancing competition not a gymnastics competition. The most disappointing outcomes have come out of this season. There have been some people who were voted off that should not have been and some people that lasted way longer than they should have. Last night was just the clincher for me. I am sick of these reality show outcomes being decided by popularity rather than talent. I am not sure what kind of judging went on last night. How do you give everyone a perfect score? What the ___? I am pretty sure that this will be the last season for me watching this show.

IS THERE SOME PETITION THAT I CAN SIGN THAT IS GOING TO THE MAJOR NETWORKS ASKING THEM TO BRING BACK NON REALITY SHOWS?

I cannot Gilles did not win or even Melissa. They both were better than Shawn. Sure she was good and did improve over the weeks leading to the final. But Gilles and Melissa were definately the two better. You just gave it to her in my opinion because she was the youngest and because she was a gymist, just like you gave it to Kristy Yamaguchi who also wasnt the best. I think this should that the show can and is all set up. I do believe based on his scores that Gilles should have definately won. This may just have settled my decision that I wont view the next season because its all a set-up and fixed. Ill stick to watching something more entertaining.

I cannot Gilles did not win or even Melissa. They both were better than Shawn. Sure she was good and did improve over the weeks leading to the final. But Gilles and Melissa were definately the two better. You just gave it to her in my opinion because she was the youngest and because she was a gymist, just like you gave it to Kristy Yamaguchi who also wasnt the best. I think this should that the show can and is all set up. I do believe based on his scores that Gilles should have definately won. This may just have settled my decision that I wont view the next season because its all a set-up and fixed. Ill stick to watching something more entertaining.

How totally disappointing. I would have never hung with this show this far had the outcome been known ahead of time. Gilles is the dancer.

I'm in agreement with most people around the world, Shawn? Why? She was clearly not the best dancer Melisssa was by far the better DANCER!! She look almost as good as the proffesionals. If the judges think flipping and jumping around is dancing maybe they need new judges!

Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas were tied with Giles Marini and Cheryl Burke down to virtually the very end of tonight’s broadcast. Celebrity actress Melissa Rycroft ended up third.

Shawn Johnson did not win that contest. The outcome was totally rigged and I am not a huge conspiracy theorist. But I could see the signs, this has been in the cards for weeks.

Melissa and Gilles were much better, gave more adult sexuality and nuance to their dances. Their grace was amazing. Shawn Johnson is built like a fireplug, is under 18 and had no understanding of what these dances are meant to convey.

Last night Shawn landed hard in her first dance, then later used gymnastic moves, no problem with the judges. Then Melissa used cheer leading moves, she lost points for that. Double standard.

Shawn consistently had LESS points than Melissa and Gilles. Yet, somehow, she won.

I don't believe that someone her age should be allowed to compete in this contest anyway, it should be 21 and older. There are plenty of forums in which younger people can compete, I am tired of all the youth oriented shows. I watched DWTS for adult entertainment, not to watch some kid jump about.

The bias in reality television has been appalling this year because of it's patent in your face blatancy. Carrie Ann drooled so openly over Gilles I was actually embarrassed for her, and on Idol, Katy Perry's Adam cape being allowed, and what was said by judges on the talk show circuit went a long way toward proving bias.

There is no way that Allison got less votes than Kris. NO WAY. Yet, off she went. Idol proved how it was fixed from the beginning, with the bouncing of Kristen McNamara whom COULD actually sing, and keeping of Tatiana for ratings.

Screw reality TV, this is my final season. Don't waste your votes, producers with their own agenda's are really the people who decide, not you. Don't believe me? Google some of Steve Wozniaks early comments on the show until he was silenced. You'll see.

I have to say I'm totally disappointed with this season's selection of a champions as Giles is by far the best dancer I've watched in the last 4 seasons. What gets me is the judges come down on Giles for dancing Flash Dance and not seeing enough dancin but are estatic with the flips & jumps of Shawn? Give me a fillintheblank break.

Yes, the Flash Dance was a risk, but it was very enjoyable AND they danced so what is the big deal? I saw more dancing with the Flash Dance routine than I did with jumping Judy's routine. Sorry to say the champion's crown was decided on viewers votes and judges who had a brain fart at the most critical time of judging.

If a fan's vote is the decidng factor, it needs to count 5% or less of the total points because obviously some viewers are not dance fans. I think i'm through with watching this fiasco as it apparently doesn't matter what the judges score them; the fans will pull them through. Don't believe me, ask Little Kim....hell, ask Ty as he wondered why he was still alive for the following week.....as we all did.

Former fan of DWS

MELISSA SHOULD OF WON! NOT SHAWN!

Congratulations Shawn!

All of us an MonaVie are so happy and want to congratulate you on your victory.

Thanks for choosing our Health & Sports Beverage, MonaVie Active.

Enjoy the celebrations tonight!

MyMonaVie.com/GregPasden

MV Business Development VP

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This page contains a single entry by Miriam Di Nunzio published on May 19, 2009 9:35 PM.

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