Tuesday, May 19, 2009

shawn johnson wins dancing with the stars

I will not watch "Dancing With the Stars" again.

French actor Gilles Marini could have scored a 33 out of a possible 30 on "Dancing with the Stars" Tuesday night. The room melted with his last tango, and he deserved to win the season finale. His last two opponents were very good; he and partner Cheryl Burke were steaming.

But teen gymnast Shawn Johnson showed that dancing isn't the game; fan voting is. And she won the finale. Anyone who watched the show for what it's supposed to be could not be comfortable with the result. But this was only the second great injustice this season. The first came when rapper Lil' Kim was voted off. Yet even she wouldn't have stood a chance against Marini. The guy is the complete package, to put it delicately. As judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, his "artistry" set him apart from all others.

The 17-year-old gymnast was named "Dancing With the Stars" champion Tuesday during the season finale of the hit ABC show.

The winning couple held the mirrorball trophy aloft as the rest of the contestants rushed out to greet them, hoisting them into the air as sparkling confetti flew.

"This has been the best experience ever," Johnson said after her victory. "I've grown so much."

Johnson was tied with fellow finalist Gilles Marini after Melissa Rycroft was dismissed earlier in Tuesday's show.

All three finalists performed one last dance, each earning a perfect score of 30 from the judges. Viewer votes are combined with judges' scores to determine the "Dancing" champ.

Show host Tom Bergeron said "less than 1 percent" separated the two finalists.

Former contestant Jeffrey Ross came back for a little comic relief, roasting the three finalists, calling them, "the underage, the unwed and the unpronounceable."

Tuesday's season finale also featured a performance by Lady Gaga and the finale of the new pro-dancer competition. Anna Damidova competed with three other professional dancers for a spot on next season's "Dancing With the Stars."

While Johnson was paid increasingly by the episode, she got nothing extra for taking the mirroball trophy, according to court documents filed in Los Angeles.

Because she's under 18, Johnson had to have a judge approve a minor's contract to participate in "Dancing." That agreement spelled out that Johnson receives $125,000 for being a contestant, and made significantly more per week the longer she lasted: For weeks three and four, Johnson received $10,000 per week; $20,000 per week for weeks five, six and seven; $30,000 for weeks eight and nine; and for the final two weeks, she received $50,000 a week — but no winning bonus.

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