"Dancing With the Stars" finale?They had both been front runners all season, so why did William Levy or Katherine Jenkins fail to win the mirror ball trophy on Tuesday night's
It could be that America just likes their athletes.
Latin heartthrob Levy had fans in a frenzy all season, while the more reserved Jenkins shook her Welsh "naughty bits" to the tune of high scores from her very first week on the competition. While American audiences clearly embraced the two, in the end Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver took home the grand prize.
Driver's win makes it the seventh time an athlete has won the popular dance competition. He's now in the company of past NFL winner Emmitt Smith (Season 3) and Hines Ward (Season 12), as well as Olympic champs Apolo Ohno (Season 4), Kristi Yamaguchi (Season 6), and Shawn Johnson (Season 8). Indy racer Helio Castroneves also took the title back in Season 5.
But perhaps even more interesting is the fact that a new professional dancer was part of this win. A look back at past "DWTS" winners shows that several of the same pro dancers have repeatedly won this thing. Cheryl Burke -- who was in the running this season as Levy's partner -- has won twice. Ditto for Mark Ballas, Jenkins' partner. And for a while there, it seemed as though this was the Derek Hough show, when the blonde boy wonder won a whopping three of the first seven seasons he competed in.
The fact that newbie pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd -- who joined the "DWTS" cast last season and was voted off the first week -- won the competition this season shows that voters really are open to giving newcomers a chance.
Driver and Murgatroyd impressed the judges all season, but it wasn't until their honky tonk freestyle dance on Monday night that they managed to win a 10 from all three of the judges, including perpetually cranky judge Len Goodman, on Monday night.
"We've had some great footballers on the show over the years," Goodman told Driver. "My feeling is you are the best we've had."
According to USA Today, Driver compared his "DWTS" win to winning the Super Bowl last year.
"It's truly something special," he said. " I reached the greatest milestone in my career, and that was winning the Super Bowl. I just made my partner reach her greatest milestone, and now she's 'Dancing With the Stars' champion."
As for William Levy and Katherine Jenkins, they may have fallen short of the mirror ball trophy, but it's probably safe to say they are both still glad they came to America.
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