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Who Won Dancing With the Stars? May 21, 2008

Filed under: As Seen on TV — gervmaine @ 9:12 am
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Do not read on if you do not want to know who won last night on ‘Dancing with the Stars’.

After four consecutive male winners on “Dancing With the Stars,” it was finally ladies’ night.

Kristi Yamaguchi was named the new “Dancing” champ on the show’s season finale, becoming the first woman to win the ABC dance-off since its inaugural season. The figure skater came into the final contest Tuesday with a perfect score and bested fan favorites Jason Taylor and Cristian de la Fuente to claim the mirrorball trophy.

“This is definitely for all those women out there to continue to be strong,” she said after the show, hoisting the prize above her head.

The Olympic gold medalist was clearly the most talented dancer on this season’s competition, regularly landing atop the judges’ scoreboard. But viewer votes count just as much, and with the audience 75 percent female, men have had the edge. Last season ended with a shocker when race-car driver Helio Castroneves upset Spice Girl Melanie Brown.

“Obviously the fans are the deciding factor here,” Yamaguchi said, “and I can’t say enough to thank them.”

She also had plenty of fans among her fellow competitors, who said she deserved the title.

Taylor, the massive but graceful pro football star, called Yamaguchi “just perfect,” adding that he “grew up watching her compete for our country.” De la Fuente, who was eliminated early in the two-hour season finale, said “it was impossible to beat her.”

His professional partner, Cheryl Burke, agreed. “Kristi deserved it more than any other woman in any other season,” she said. “It’s about time that a woman wins.”

Yamaguchi’s athletic background helped make her a winner, said judge Carrie Ann Inaba, because athletes know how to channel criticism into competition.

“She was technically great and she was doing incredible choreography,” Inaba said, adding that Yamaguchi’s performance personality emerged throughout the season. “She was able to really develop her crowd-pleasing skills and that’s what set her over the top.”

The judge acknowledged on Monday’s show that men often fare better in the ballroom, saying “they have a natural tendency to be more crowd-pleasers.”

“When men get on the floor and you’re watching the male power, it’s unbeatable,” Inaba said after Tuesday’s show. “It generates this sort of excitement on the dance floor that’s really hard to touch.”

Winning the “Dancing” crown doesn’t quite compare to winning an Olympic gold medal, Yamaguchi said, but it’s still “a fun, amazing experience.”

“It’s not just this (trophy) but what it represents,” she said. “It’s all the hard work and the time spent together and the friendships made, challenging yourself and learning something new.”

Though Taylor and de la Fuente didn’t win, each was victorious in his own way. Besides forming a close friendship with each other, Taylor, an aspiring actor, has taken meetings with Hollywood heavyweights, and de la Fuente learned an important life lesson.

The actor ruptured a tendon in his biceps while dancing on April 28, but delayed the surgery necessary to repair it so he could continue in the contest.

“It’s about wanting something in life and going for it,” he said. “In this case it was a dance show, but it can be anything that you’re afraid of. Go for it. Do it. The reward that you get when you put your heart, your soul, everything you’ve got in something, it’s priceless.”


Dancing with the Stars Eliminates Another Contestant May 14, 2008

Filed under: As Seen on TV — gervmaine @ 2:32 pm
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Marissa Jaret Winokur remains a one-time Tony winner for now. The Broadway star and partner Tony Dovolani were eliminated from Dancing With the Stars Tuesday after failing to make the most of their hard-fought trip to the semifinals.

Despite dual 26s on their quickstep and rumba and being called an “unlikely contender” by Carrie Ann Inaba last night, their 52 left them four points out of the hunt while only one point separated the other three contestants.

“It’s been incredible!” the reliably bubbly Winokur said before that final goodbye dance. “No one expected us to get this far…[Tony] has worked so hard with me. This has been such an incredible experience.”

First to be declared finalists, meanwhile, were—shocker!—Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas, who’ve never had to sweat it out for long come results time and who regained the top of the leaderboard last night after a two-week drought.

“Kristi’s always had the hottest odds to win this,” Winokur said in an interview played earlier in the evening. “What I respect the most is that she hasn’t buckled under the pressure.” Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska will also be taking a well-earned trip to free-style territory (yay, lifts galore!) next week, along with Cristián de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke, who seemingly were headed for DWTS obscurity before receiving a literal shot in the arm.

Despite a ruptured tendon in his bicep that is keeping his left arm largely out of the picture, de la Fuente managed to pull off a samba—the dance that resulted in his injury a couple weeks ago—that was just shy of perfect, thanks to Len Goodman‘s 9 out of 10.

Tonight’s elimination round also featured performances by those painfully cute tween dancers again, two of whom will be named champions of their respective half-pint competition, and a “Thriller” tribute from R&B singer Omarion.

Usher will perform on next week’s finale.


DWTS’ Mark Ballas and Sabrina Bryan Split May 7, 2008

Filed under: Celebrity Romance — gervmaine @ 4:49 pm
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Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas

Dancing With the Stars pro dancer Mark Ballas and Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan have split, Ballas tells

“We are just friends now,” he says.

The pair met in November 2007 when they were partnered together on season five of DWTS.

“We’ve gotten so close, and I guess the friendship started from the moment we met,” Bryan said in 2007. “Now that the show is over, we definitely couldn’t stand the thought of not being in each other’s lives at this point.”

She added: “You see all this love and chemistry we have? It’s really so vibrant, and that’s really how our friendship and relationship is.”