Dancing with the Stars: Shawn Johnson Takes Home the Mirror Ball Trophy
Kris De Leon
Kris De Leon
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Shawn Johnson, Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft all earned a perfect 30 from the judges for their final performance on last night's Dancing with the Stars but in the end, the 17-year-old Olympian was crowned winner of season 8. This marks Shawn's professional dance partner Mark Ballas' second win on the show since his title with Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi two seasons ago.

"I've loved every second of it. It's the most amazing thing ever... This has been the best experience ever. I've grown so much," said Shawn, as her pro partner Mark held the sparkly trophy high above his head.

The eighth season of Dancing with the Stars ended before she could say much more. The dancing champ was reportedly heading for a jet, bound for New York and an appearance on Good Morning America.

Though deserving to take home the coveted mirror ball trophy, Shawn's triumph on Dancing with the Stars came as a bit of a surprise to some viewers. Many believed that Gilles, the French actor who appeared in the Sex and the City movie, had the competition in the bag after consistently scoring the most number of perfect 30s (five to be exact) in the competition.

But Dancing with the Stars isn't just about dancing ---it's also about who has the most fans. Plus, the competition was really tight. According to co-host Samantha Harris, less than 1 percent of the viewer votes separated the finale two, consequently sending Gilles to second place.

"I'm so happy for Shawn and Mark," Gilles said. "They worked so hard. We love them so much."

Melissa, on the other hand, came in third place.

"Never in a million years could I imagine I would be here dancing with an Olympian and someone who was in a blockbuster movie," the 25-year-old former Bachelor contestant said. "My life--the past 11 weeks--has completely changed. I thank all the viewers and voters for keeping us here this long."

If you missed the finale, you can read a recap in this article.

-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: ABC, Eonline.com
(Image courtesy of ABC)