May 20, 2008 09:07 PM by Jennifer_Brown
Dancing junkies must have been happy tonight. ABC all but cleared the schedule for the highly-anticipated Dancing with the Stars season finale celebration. First, a full re-broadcast of last night’s final performance show. Then a two-hour look back at the season, and the crowning of the new Dancing with the Stars winner.
The dancers came into the results show in the following order according to the judges’ scores, before adding viewer votes and the final dance that will ultimately decide the winner:
1st place: Kristi & Mark, coming in with a perfect 60 out of 60 from the judges, and hoping for viewer votes to push them into the top spot. “This has been a once in a lifetime experience,” Kristi says.
2nd place: Cristian & Cheryl. Will they stay in second place or will viewer votes bump them up to first… or down to second? “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” says Cristian.
3rd place: Jason & Edyta. Jason wasn’t the biggest fan of the head-to-head Cha Cha Cha. “Competing against Kristi is like going the wrong way on the highway. Freestyle’s more my style,” Jason says.
Right away the 3rd place winner will be announced. But first, a performance by five time Grammy-winner, Usher, singing Love in This Club off of his new album Here I Stand. It’s fun, it’s sexy, but it’s just a warm-up for the big band version of Yeah that he sings later in the show. When are they going to book Usher as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars? That guy can mo-o-ove!
After Usher performs, Tom announces that the third place winner of Dancing with the Stars is… Cristian de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke! Cristian says, “[Cheryl's] been a real friend and not only a dance partner but a support when I really needed her.” The two hit the floor for an encore performance of their hot Paso Doble.
Throughout the two hours, Dancing re-visits highlights from the show, including Cristian’s arm injury, Jason and Cristian’s “bro-mance,” Adam Carolla’s mad unicycle skills, and Len’s offer to show his bum in the supermarket. Each of the eliminated contestants from this season come back to dance an encore of their most celebrated dances.
Also tonight is the crowning of the Junior Ballroom Champions. The winner is… Brandon & Brittany! “We’re so excited. It has been so much fun!” Brittany cheers. Brandon, who has a particular fondness for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, is thrilled when their special trophy is presented to them by a few members of the squad.
The final two dancers standing at this point are Kristi and Jason. They have one more dance to perform, and one more round of judges’ scores to collect before we can see who wins the title.
Kristi & Mark are up first, dancing their Jive. Len says, “You are the most consistent dancer, not only on this season… any season!” Bruno calls the dance “another great achievement from the great achiever,” and Carrie Ann thanks Kristi for representing the ladies so well. Kristi is in tears (happy tears) by the time she gets backstage to receive her scores. The judges give her a 30, making her final score 90 out of 90! Wow!!!
Jason & Edyta perform their Quickstep next. Bruno calls it Jason’s best performance of the season. Carrie Ann thinks the elegance of the couple’s spirit shines through. Len says Kristi may be the judges’ champion, but Jason is the people’s champion. Jason & Edyta score a perfect 30–their first of the season! “Hey, Kristi, it does feel good!” Jason cheers.
All of the dances have been danced and the scores have been added. Only one thing left to do now–announce a winner of this season’s Dancing with the Stars. After a suspenseful pause, Tom announces… this season’s winner… is… Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas!
Mark falls to his knees, then jumps up and picks up Kristi, spinning her around and jumping/dancing around the stage in triumph. Second-place winner, Jason, tells Samantha, “I never ever thought I would get to this point. Kristi very much deserves it.”
As confetti flies and the crowd cheers, Kristi says, “This is just the icing on the cake.” She proceeds to thank everyone involved in the show–from crew to performers–for making this “a dream experience.” Tom hands Kristi the coveted mirrorball trophy and Jason and Cristian hoist Kristi onto their shoulders in triumph. Derek Hough hoists Mark as well, and the two tower over the crowd in their victory.
(Psst! On the way out, Tom says Dancing will be back in September! Yay! See ya then!)
As an extra bonus, you can now read all of our Dancing with the Stars Cast Bios!
Photo Courtesy: Michael Desmond, Kelsey McNeal/ABC