'Dancing with the Stars' Finale: Why Jennifer Won
'Dancing with the Stars' Finale: Why Jennifer Won
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Simple answer? She was the best dancer. But it's never that simple on Dancing with the Stars, so it is worth a look back at Jennifer Grey's time on the show to see why exactly she won the season 11 Mirror Ball Trophy.

The Dancing
Jennifer really was the best of the dancers this season. She came out strong and stayed in a leading position for most of the season. There was that one little stumble back in week 6, but other than that Jennifer was a star the whole way through.

Jennifer was so good, in fact, that many fully believed that she was a trained dancer. Despite some basic training back in the day (Jennifer did dance in a Dr. Pepper commercial, circa 1980) and a family background in musical theater (in case you missed it, her father, Joel Grey, is an Oscar and Tony-winning performer), Jennifer was not a dancer. She played a gifted amateur in Dirty Dancing and otherwise had a career based solely on acting.

The Sympathy
This worked both ways for Jennifer. On the one hand, we could all empathize with her struggle. On the other, it got a little annoying.

Jennifer is, was and always will be closely associated with Patrick Swayze. Either Jennifer or the show made the choice to play up this connection, especially in the early weeks of competition. We saw Jennifer crying when she missed Patrick, and we all had the chance to get emotional during her week 1 waltz.

Then we moved on to the aches and pains. She was seriously hurting! Or at least, that's what the producers would have us believe. Because Jennifer was either in less pain than they showed, or else the woman had some impressive pain medication. But the horrors of the aching rehearsals inevitably gave way to ease-filled performances. For some, this was an example of overcoming obstacles. For others, it was baseless whining.

The Story
A star out of nowhere can be fun on Dancing with the Stars, but a beloved star of yesteryear making a comeback? That's golden.

Jennifer Grey all but disappeared shortly after her iconic role in Dirty Dancing. There were rumors of personal problems and tabloid stories of misguided plastic surgery but not much else. And she wasn't exactly a star because of It's Like, You Know... or John from Cincinnati.

She may or may not get a career boost from DWTS, but Jennifer Grey is far more prominent than she's been in years. And people like to feel that they're a part of that.

The Competition
If you stick to the dancing, Jennifer didn't have much competition when it came to the finals.

While Brandy might have given Jennifer a run for her money, Brandy was out before the final week. The only other stars with judges' scores that were close had been Audrina and Kyle. And they weren't that close.

Jennifer didn't have to improve or give the performance of a lifetime in the finals. She just had to do a pretty good job, and the dancing competition was over.

The Final Result
If anyone deserved to win the Mirror Ball this season, it was Jennifer. She danced her butt off (almost literally, if you believe her health problems), she had a good story and she got at least some of the voters on her side. Others could have won, but Jennifer was always the one to beat.

What do you think? Should Jennifer have won? Or did you expect a different winner? Leave a comment below to let us know your opinion!

(Image courtesy of ABC)