Despite fierce competition (and the return of its all-star cast) there were no surprises when it came to crowning last night’s winner of Dancing With the Stars. After receiving two perfect scores and some spirited comments from the judges for their Argentine tango and Jive, Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and her partner Derek Hough were awarded the mirror ball trophy, marking a second win for Derek.
“I was more nervous because people said, ‘You are a shoe-in. It was like ‘Don’t jinx me!’” says Nicole. Adds Derek: “We never took anything for granted. “If we came first, it just meant we had to work harder the next week and then harder and harder. Staying on top is very hard. We just pushed ourselves and it’s been the most amazing experience, just phenomenal. I am so proud of everything we have accomplished this season and to see this little girl kill it, I’m so happy!”
ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy received a respectable 26 points for their Argentine tango, but couldn’t quite get the edge on the competition. “I think in week one when we saw them practicing that we knew this moment would happen tonight,” Erin said after the show. “I am very proud of them.”
Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek and partner Anna Trebunskaya may not have taken gold this time, but after receiving two 28 scores for their Argentine tango and quick step, they leave the competition winners in their own right. “We are so satisfied,” beamed Evan afterward. “We left nothing on the table and when you work and exhaust any possibility in any walk of life you are satisfied — win or lose.”
While each couple turned out an amazing performance, there’s no doubt Kate Gosselin stole the show with her awkward re-do of her most memorable dance to Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.” Show host Tom Bergeron summed things up best. “It’s rare you see me lose it on TV,” he told In Touch, “but the ending of that dance was so over-the-top.”
For more with all DWTS final couples click here.
Nicole Scherzinger & Derek Hough
How does it feel to have the trophy?
Derek: Amazing, unbelievable, we are over the planet Jupiter.
Will it be weird being apart?
Nicole: Yeah! He’s gonna miss me, honey!
What was your favorite moment of the entire finale?
Nicole: Right after we finished the Argentine tango and went backstage and it was like it didn’t even matter anymore. We were just crying after all the hard work we put in. When you heart and soul is in it so much, then you are just happy, and this is what winning is.
How did it feel when Len said to give you the competition before Evan and Anna even danced?
Nicole: I wanted to cry then. For Len to say that... I actually did start to cry. I may have well won at that moment. It was amazing.
How will you celebrate?
Derek: On our way to New York City!
Nicole: We have to fly to New York, so it will be red gum cake!
Derek: And brownies!
Where will you put the trophy?
Nicole: I’m giving it to my mom, as she’s the reason I did the show.
Derek: I am putting mine next to my Grammy and my Oscar... whatever (laughs)
Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya
First Runners Up
What did you think of the winning couple?
Evan: Derek and Nicole were in a league of their own from the start, but the rest of us have been bound as a family and everyone says this is the closest cast they have ever had.
Where did you think you might place tonight?
Evan: Going in we had no idea, we went right from the show last to training so we just wanted to show up today feeling like we had done everything we could.
Anna: We had no idea.
Evan: All we wanted was to relax and be in character with both dances and we really did enjoy it.
How proud of Evan are you?
Anna: I can’t describe it, I am proud of everything he does, be it skating, dancing performing, he just grew so much and I am blessed to have been a part of that journey from the beginning. To make it to the finals... you amaze me!
What has been the biggest change in Evan?
Anna: He really learned how to let go. Because he is such an amazing athlete and over the season he learned how to be a performer.
Evan: Just to learn all these different styles and learn them properly. Also diving into characters I wouldn’t normally do has been really educational and fun. I’ll keep dancing — I’ve fallen in love with it. Anna taught me how to lead, and that was brave of her.
Anna: He has to! His passé double is just too delicious for him not to a few more times. I had such a blast — ups and downs and all.
Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Second Runners Up
You didn’t win, but accomplished so much, how are you feeling?
Erin: I feel great, I can’t wait to get on a plane with these guys and celebrate everything that we’ve done.
How will you celebrate?
Erin: Just being with my friends and not wearing my Latin shoes and being in flats. Oh and burping, but I do that everyday anyway.
Maks: We do have dance the Samba — twice.
Erin: Shoot, I have to bring the Latin shoes?
Maks: You can dance in whatever you want, but we have to dance.
Is dancing in your future?
Erin: I dance all the time.
Maks: Ok I’m gonna bail her out of this one, it’s life, you never stop. Tony Dovolani signs his autographs, “Dance is life,” but in reality, it is what it is. We live this life. I danced when I was 4, hated it till I was 14, then realized this is what I can be good at. Then came coaching. This is the kind of show that stays with you through life and an opportunity you will never have again. Erin has many dances to be proud of.
So it was just a great season over all?
Maks: It was just an incredible season.
What did you think of Nicole and Derek taking the prize?
Erin: Nicole is amazing. And I thought Evan was amazing, too. We were all supporting and cheering him. Being a sports broadcaster, I didn’t know what an amazing athlete he is and becoming his friend has become so special and I love him.
Do you have any immediate plans work-wise now?
Erin: No, oh I am working the Spelling Bee next Friday as a sideline reporter, after that, no.