Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward claimed the hideous Mirror Ball Trophy as winner of the 12th season on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday night.
Hines may have lost the Super Bowl to the Green Bay Packers back in February, but he did defeat actress/professional dieter Kirstie Alley on the penultimate night of the May 2011 TV sweep.
Kirstie had gone into tonight’s results show five points behind Hines and Disney princess Chelsea Kane.
Chelsea wound up finishing third because, while she was the season’s best and most consistent dancer – the other two competitors were Kirstie Alley and Hines Ward! And that’s how it rolls when you let viewers/fans do 50 percent of the deciding.
All three finalists earned perfect scores from the show’s three judges Tuesday when they re-performed their fave dance from the season.
Chelsea and Mark Ballas chose their Wizard Waltz that had judge Len Goodman’s knickers in such a bunch when first they performed it.
Kirstie Alley and Maks Chmerkovskiy chose the cha cha cha she did the first week of the show because she wanted “to show fans that the dress is half the size it was in week one.” It was her first perfect score of the season.
And Hines and Kym Johnson re-did the Samba to Mama he’d done very early in the 10-week competition.
Like all results nights, this very last results show of the season was padded – this time to a whopping two hours – with musical guests.
The Black-Eyed Peas took the stage to sing their latest hit “Don’t Stop the Party” which sounded for all the world like YouTube phenom/nightmare “Friday.” Well, who knows where great ideas come from? The Peas do their patented step, The Running in Place Pea, and don’t attempt any lifts.
When ousted supermodel Petra Nemcova came back Tuesday to reprised the waltz she’d done this season to “You Raise Me Up,” suddenly Josh Groban came out on stage to sing the tune live -- hot off his appearance on the first night of the two-day “Surprise Oprah!” palooza.
Kirstie’s dance partner Max and the DWTS ladies danced while the Go-Go’s sang “We Got the Beat.” Max played a cop and the girls were street walkers, who stripped off his shirt and a four-way dance ensued. The Gos have put on a few years and look like high school music teachers, but they’re still rockin.
And Sarah Evans, the country singer and former “Dancing” competitor who famously dropped out to divorce her GOP operative husband over interesting pictures she claimed she’d found on the family computer, sang “A Little Bit Stronger” right before the results were announced.
Hines – a crowd fave, who was also much loved by the show’s three judges — had outmaneuvered the two women on Monday, when he played his long-held NFL Card. Hines went with football game halftime entertainment theme for his freestyle dance; he was decked out in a band uniform of Steeler black and gold with a big “S” on his chest and break away sleeves, while Kym dressed up as a gold lame cheerleader. They don’t call Hines the silent assassin for nothing.
This 12th edition of “Dancing” – forecast by the press to be a dud – will wind up the franchise’s most watched edition ever. Through last week, the dance competition was averaging about 21 million viewers, factoring in both the Monday performance shows and the Tuesday results shows. That’s about a million more people than watched last fall’s much ballyhooed edition, aka The Bristol Palin Season, when all the blah, blah, blah was about how casting the daughter of a polarizing political figure was such a coup for the show because it brought into the fold a whole new, very motivated Tea Party voting bloc.
(Palin’s mom, Sarah, who sat in the audience many weeks during her daughter’s season on the show, got one last close-up out of “Dancing” Tuesday night when the camera found her in the audience for Hines’ win.)
The show’s exec producer had said he’d love to get another polarizing political figure for this edition of the show, but when that failed to happen and this season’s politico-free celebrity lineup was announced, it was to the everlasting disappointment of the media.
Yahoo, for instance, pronounced this season’s lineup a “stumble” for the show, saying the names of this year’s lineup had been revealed, “to, let’s say, an underwhelmed public.” And, by “public” Yahoo meant “the press,” citing lousy reviews of the new celeb competitors, in the New York Times and Movieline.
Turns out, Palin did add new viewers to the show, but cost it others, who crawled back out from their bunkers, cautiously, when they got word that former Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, who’d announced she had been approached by “Dancing” producers, would not be joining the show after all.
But, just because there was no polarizing political figure, don’t think this season lacked drama. This season the show had drama seeping from its pores.
Most recently, Hines – loved by Steelers fans for playing rough on the field, nearly snapped his dance partner Kym’s neck in two when he fell on her during a rehearsal and was whisked away in an ambulance. And he broke down and cried when they were able to actually perform their dance that week. This week she was still rehearsing in a neck brace – which may have helped them gain votes.
Maks – who we learned this season, likes to think of himself as sex on a stick – collapsed under Kirstie during a live, televised performance. Later Kirstie, who’d sworn to lose 40 pounds while competing, nearly collapsed during rehearsal due to lack of calories. Kirstie also lost a shoe during a dance one week – another “Dancing” first.
Ralph Macchio’s dance partner Karina Smirnoff tripped on his long coat tails during a live performance, and he gallantly picked up, dusted her off and got her back on track. Sadly Ralph blew all that good will he’d earned when he whined incessantly about leg pains he suffered soon thereafter.
When judge Len Goodman told Wendy Williams he liked how her “dumplings were boiling over” in her costumes, she deftly turned it into a Big Breast Crisis in a subsequent week during one of her hit-and-run attacks of self involvement, refusing to believe dance partner Tony Dovolani’s assurances that viewers were not obsessing over her large mammaries during her numbers.
Kendra Wilkinson revealed she’d been the victim of anti-Bunny prejudice which still exists in our society – an emotional pain which, on the bright side, put her in touch with her inner stripper as she rhumba’d with dance partner Louis Van Amstel. And Kendra turned out to be a force for truth in all things when Louis urged her to shake everything “that God gave her” and she announced “Well, my boobs aren’t what God gave me.”
And, we will never forget the show’s Celebriquarium hostess, Brooke Burke wondering how Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova and her partner Dmitry Chaplin, who is Russian, were going to be able to dance an “all-American quickstep” during “American Week” on the show. Petra, resisting the urge to bash Brooke over the head with the heel of her shoe, explained she would rely on the kindness of the non-xenophobic American voters who had gotten her this far in the competition.
Photo Gallery: “Dancing With the Stars”
Last night’s performances: Penultimate night
Last week’s results: Ralph Macchio goes home
Last week’s performances: The final four perform