When it came to the winner of Dancing with the Stars' 12th season, the final choice was hardly a surprise. Hines Ward earned a well-deserved victory after almost an entire season at the front of a well-matched pack of celebrities. It was always possible, I suppose, that one of his competitors would edge out a win, but it was never likely.
The surprise of the night came elsewhere.
Honestly, it's tough to find much to add to Hines' Mirror Ball victory. It's deserved, and it feels good -- could the football player seem anymore deserving and humble about it all? Hines danced consistently and excellently every single week, even when his partner suffered injury. Hey, he even improved at that point!
Still, there's little to say. Other than congratulations to Hines, of course.More to Talk About
That's not to say that there were no surprises during the Dancing with the Stars
finale. There was one big surprise: the defeat of Chelsea Kane by Kirstie Alley.
Chelsea had tied Hines in finale points from the judges and had actually surpassed the eventual winner in many of the later weeks of competition. But she wasn't so popular. Not Kirstie Alley-popular anyway.
It turns out that Kirstie Alley was exactly the kind of star that drew popularity right to her. Older fans knew her from movies (particularly Look Who's Talking
and Star Trek II
: Wrath of Khan
) as well as from Cheers
on TV. And, despite her acting jobs decreasing, Kirstie has managed to maintain a media presence by addressing her weight and life issues on reality television. An avid Twitter user, even before Dancing with the Stars
, Kirstie had social networking down to a science. These all combined to keep Kirstie's fan base strong, no matter what happened on the show.
And Kirstie didn't let those legions of fans down. She started off strong (with the second-highest score of Week 1) and maintained competent, fun performances in the early weeks. Back-to-back mishaps (Maks falling, that shoe...) only made Kirstie seem more relatable. Add to this the actress' stunning and very visible weight loss over 10 weeks, and Kirstie was someone you could root for.
Still, she wasn't as good as some of the others. Although they weren't consistent, stars like Ralph and Romeo achieved better scores and still faced elimination before the finals. Meanwhile Kirstie's finale competition was made up of the two dancers who had dominated the second half of the season. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who honestly thought Kirstie was a better dancer than either Hines or Chelsea.
In the end, however, dancing was not the only aspect to the final standings. With voters relegating Chelsea to third place, Kirstie vaulted into second. Had the other finalist been less charismatic, charming and talented than Hines Ward, Kirstie might even have won.
Now that's an impressive surprise.
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What do you think of the final results? Were you surprised by any of the final standings? Did they really need to spend two hours to get to the winner? Leave us a comment!(Images courtesy of ABC)