Dancing with the Stars 8: Ty Murray Rides Out Into the Sunset
Woah there, cowboy!

Last night on Dancing with the Stars, Ty Murray's unlikely journey towards becoming a ballroom dancer finally ended. While not nearly the best dancer on the show, he truly embodied the spirit of Dancing with the Stars. He went from completely horrible to actually being pretty good at ballroom. He went from earning a paltry 14 in the first week to a pretty fantastic 18 in week 8. He exceeded everybody's expectations by getting through to the semi finals.

Some of Ty's best moments were in his interviews backstage. He always had something self-deprecating and quippy to say about himself, and he always looked cheerful and happy.

Of course, there were times, notably when he danced the Latin styles, when it was a bit excruciating to watch him, but his fans kept him in the game almost until the end. How shocking was it when he beat out Lil' Kim in week 9, especially considering that she had been the top dog in the competition for so many weeks in a row. It's a testament to how well he connected with his audience that he prevailed.

Top honors also go to Ty's professional partner, Chelsie Hightower. fresh off of a fairly successful season on FOX's So You Think You Can Dance, proved that she definitely has what it takes to succeed as a professional on Dancing with the Stars. She was often unassuming and quiet on camera, but it takes a lot of talent and hard work to take an awkward cowboy and turn him into a suave gentleman. Kudos to Chelsie, and I hope she has a successful season next fall as well.

The finals of Dancing with the Stars are on next week! Monday night, we'll have the final performance show, and the top three couples will have the ever-popular and all-important freestyle round. Anything goes, and it's sure to be exciting. Then, on Tuesday night, we'll find out who will win the mirror ball trophy! Will it be Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke? Or Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani? Or will it be Shawn Johnson or Mark Ballas? We'll just have to wait and find out.

Missed the episode? Read the Semi Final Live Results here>>

-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)