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Dancing With The Stars Finale, The Winner Is…

February 26, 2006 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon

The best of the best have tangoed, jived and cha cha’d their way into the live two-hour finale of "Dancing with the Stars," airing SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Through the guidance of their professional dance partners, former 98 Degrees popstar Drew Lachey, WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) wrestler Stacy Keibler, and Super Bowl legend Jerry Rice have outlasted the competition and remain the final three celebrities standing — but only one will be crowned champion of "Dancing with the Stars."

ABC has pulled out all the stops for Sunday’s live finale. Not only will the final three couples showcase a new routine in the dance style of their choice to be scored by the judges, all seven of the previously eliminated celebrities – ESPN sportscaster Kenny Mayne, Academy Award winner Tatum O’Neal, news personality Giselle Fernandez, rap mogul Master P, actress Tia Carrere, Hollywood legend George Hamilton and actress/talk-show host Lisa Rinna — will return with their professional dance partners to perform a dance set to some of the most memorable songs. To add to the excitement, Grammy Award-winning R&B music artist Mary J. Blige takes the stage to perform two songs, including her hit single, "Family Affair," off her critically acclaimed album "No More Drama." Last but not least, the winning couple will be revealed and the coveted Mirrorball trophy presented.

Scoring: The champions will be determined by a combined total of the judges’ scores from Thursday and Sunday night, and the viewers’ total votes from Thursday night. As always, the judges’ scores make up only half of each couple’s total score. The all-important viewer votes make up the other half.

Dance experts and judges — renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman, and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba – will score Thursday and Sunday’s dances out of a possible total score of ninety points. The teams will be ranked from top to bottom in the order of the judges’ total scores, and separately in the order of total viewers’ votes. Each team will then receive ranking points for their positions on the judges’ leadearboard and viewers’ leaderboard, respectively. The couple finishing at the top of the FINAL judges’ leaderboard on Sunday receives three ranking points, the couple in second two, and the couple in third one. The same ranking system applies to the viewers’ votes. The couple with the most viewer votes receives three ranking points, the couple with the second-highest total votes two, and the couple with the least votes one. These ranking points will then be added together and the couple with the highest combined total is crowned "Dancing with the Stars" champions. In the event of a tie, the viewers’ favorite couple as determined by their votes will be declared the winners.

Hosted by Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris, "Dancing with the Stas" features celebrities paired with professional dancers performing choreographed routines and competing for a chance to be crowned champion of "Dancing with the Stars." For the past seven weeks, teams have undergone intensive training in ballroom and Latin dance in an effort to impress a national television audience and a panel of dance experts every Thursday night.

Viewers have been voting via phone or online at www.abc.com for their favorite performers each Thursday. The judges’ scores and viewers’ scores are combined, and the couple garnering the lowest score has been revealed and eliminated from the competition during the "Dancing with the Stars" results show on Friday nights.

Tune in Sunday, February 26 to find out who among the following contestants will be crowned champion of "Dancing with the Stars":

STACY KEIBLER – WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) wrestler, and partner/professional dancer Tony Dovolani.

DREW LACHEY – Recording artist and former member of the pop group 98 Degrees, and partner/professional dancer Cheryl Burke.

JERRY RICE – Three-time Super Bowl champ and considered by many to be the greatest wide receiver to play in the NFL, and partner/professional dancer Anna Trebunskaya.

"Dancing with the Stars" was last summer’s most successful series, averaging 16.8 million viewers weekly. This season in its Thursday time period, the popularity of "Dancing with the Stars" has grown, now attracting an average audience of 18.6 million viewers. The ABC unscripted program has emerged as one of the Top 10 most-watched shows on television this season (No. 8). "Dancing with the Stars" has improved the time period for ABC by more than 12 million viewers, qualifying as ABC’s strongest Thursday night series in the last 6 seasons – since the 1999-00 season.

"Dancing with the Stars" is the U.S. version of the international smash hit series, "Strictly Come Dancing." This version is produced in America by BBC Worldwide. Richard Hopkins (UK) and Conrad Green (USA) are executive producers. Izzie Pick is co-executive producer. Alex Rudzinski directs. The program airs with Spanish audio via SAP. A TV parental guideline will be assigned closer to airdate.

Topics: Dancing With the Stars |

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14 Responses to “Dancing With The Stars Finale, The Winner Is…”

  1. Judi Says:
    February 26th, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    The winner of Dancing with the Stars IS-n’t – Stacy. America got it right that far anyway.

  2. geoffrey Says:
    February 26th, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    What The F**K? JERRY RICE beat STACY KEIBLER? This blows. A total rip off, abomination and a travesty.This is what it’s come to. This country has gone to hell.
    No one will ever take this show seriously again.

  3. Allan Says:
    February 26th, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    If Jerry Rice wins I’ll never watch this again. Much improved ok, but best no way.

  4. Judi Says:
    February 26th, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    OK – so the winner is DREW!!!!! America got it all right all the way. This has been a great season, very enjoyable show, and I am already looking forward to the next season.

  5. Lynn Rank Says:
    February 26th, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    Yes, Drew and Cheryl “Ride a Cowboy, Save a Horse”…catipluted them right into being the winner…what a dance?? Sorry Jerry…..Drew even hated the looks of the trophy…yeah!!! But Drew learned how to move, yes,!!Drew and Cheryl!!!…you earned it!!

  6. Phil Says:
    February 26th, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    A total sham. Jerry, go back to football. i turned it off when the final 2 were announced. A total rip off of the public.


  7. Jane Doe Says:
    February 26th, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    I had a feeling it would be Drew and Cheryl because my spouse and I voted for Drew and Cheryl on two cell phones and one land line, plus from three e-mail addresses and we only got four votes in for Drew and Cheryl total. We had been getting more votes in when there were more lines opens and more competitors. My spouse got in four votes, 1 phone call and three e-mail votes) and I didn’t even get one phone call through. For over an hour we both got nothing but busy signals and he is the only one of us that got a call through, so when the voting was over we knew Drew and Cheryl had the contest sewn up. Not only was it practically impossible to vote for them but they consistently scored tens from the judges and the runner up never got a single ten, so both from the judge’s eyes and the fans eyes Drew and Cheryl were clearly the best dancers.

    There were times during the voting that we thought the contest was rigged, but when Drew and Cheryl won we knew it was all on the up and up and my spouse was all wrong. He told me the Superbowl fans would make their favorite the winner and I told him, no, the fans will only vote for the best dancer at the very end. Sure enough, I was right. He was wrong. There IS justice is America and the popular vote is truly the best way to find the best in any competition.

  8. Donna Pariseau Says:
    February 27th, 2006 at 12:59 am

    I had watched every program but Saturday night was a very late one for me. I proped mt eyes open but alas, I nodded off just when Drew was to come on. I’m so glad he won!!!

  9. Patricia Lombardi Says:
    February 27th, 2006 at 5:57 am

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,Dancing with the starts is a great show and I hope it comes back again.
    I think Stacy should have gotten the trophy because she was such a GREAT DANCER AND CARED ABOUT THE TROPHY.There was some kind of comment made by Drew that it was ugly so why even let him get it?STACY IS A FABULOUS DANCER AND I HOPE SHE knows there are allot of people who think that trophy is hers even if the judges didn’t give it to her.Thank You for your time a disappointed viewer

  10. Jane Doe Says:
    February 27th, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Drew didn’t make any ugly comment at all as East coast viewers could see for themselves. West coast censors are just uptight. A judge made a comment about Brokeback Mountain and Drew inferred that wasn’t his thing, but he didn’t SAY anything, not a word. Drew won fair and square and my votes helped him get there.

    I think anyone has a right to say (or at least infer) what their sexual preferences are. Rock Hudson and Rosie O’Donnell had a right to say and so does Drew Lachey or Jerry Rice. What’s the big deal about being gay or straight anyway, like who cares? Maybe only someone too shy to own up to the truth. Well, I’m hetero, and I’m not afraid to tell anyone. Drew shouldn’t be afraid either.

  11. Jane Doe Says:
    February 27th, 2006 at 10:44 am

    Oh, I remember now. You we’re talking about the trophy! Duh! Sorry. My bad.

  12. musicguy Says:
    February 27th, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    Wow, a 30 minute show actually stretched to cover 2 hrs. Gimme a break! One redeeming grace.. Draw and Cheryl were the best by for!

  13. Pete Says:
    February 27th, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    Jerry Rice as a finalist ? What a joke. Stacy was good enough to win but Drew was great, too. No problem with the final choice but Jerry Rice ? He wasn’t in the top 5 let alone final two.

  14. Joan Says:
    February 27th, 2006 at 7:23 pm

    Drew and Sheryl were the ones for the trophy. What a dancer Drew is! If there are more programs like this, I hope the audience cannot vote. It is obvious that they are not voting for best dancer!


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