There is nothing more satisfying than investing 13 weeks or so in a reality show and then seeing your favorite take home the prize.
Such was the joy I felt when it was announced that Apolo Anton Ohno was this year's champion of Dancing with the Stars. He won me over with his determination, his sharp, energetic dancing, his amazing chemistry with his partner Julianne -- and, oh yeah, he's kinda cute. My crush started small, back in week one, but became a full-fledged obsession by fairly early in the competition, and hasn't subsided since. Can someone tell me when the speed skating season starts? Is there such a thing?
As for the #2 finisher, Joey Fatone put up quite a fight. In fact, right after the announcement of the winner, I felt actually pangs of sadness for Joey, who so clearly wanted to win this thing. Like Mario Lopez before him, Joey will have to be content with the fact that he put his heart and soul into the competition, and gave thrilling, entertaining performances week after week. And like I've been saying all along, it's only a matter of time before he is back on Broadway -- mark my words.
I also felt a bit of sadness saying goodbye to Laila in third place, as she really has brought a sophistication and elegance to the competition, along with an element of surprise. I mean, who knew this boxer could be so sexy or so graceful? She, Joey, and Apolo are definitely the strongest Top 3 this show has ever had.
As for the rest of the show, I must give the producers some credit for actually putting together a very entertaining finale. I was worried -- more than one results show this season has been a painful, bloated affair. Tonight's show, however, was very self contained, with no random musical guests -- just a celebration of the history and this current season of Dancing with the Stars. All three of the final pairs brought their A-games to their reprised routines (Apolo's was far and away the most exciting), it was nice to see all three former winners return to the ballroom, and it was fun to relive, via clip packages, the journeys of Laila, Joey, and Apolo, as well as Heather, Ian, Billy Ray and the rest of the gang.
So, congratulations Apolo, you deserve it. And nice work to everyone else involved with Dancing with the Stars...it's been fun.
If you like Dancing with the Stars or American Idol, you'll love So You Think You Can Dance, which premieres this Thursday at 8PM. Click here to read Looking Forward to So You Think You Can Dance.
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