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Johnson Flips Away with 'Dancing' Trophy
(152 votes, average 4.78 out of 5)


By a winning margin of less than 1 percent, Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson and partner Mark Ballas danced away as season-eight champions of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Tuesday.

By a winning margin of less than 1 percent, Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson and partner Mark Ballas danced away as season-eight champions of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Tuesday.

"This has been the most amazing experience ever, and I've grown so much," a breathless Johnson said after the results were announced.

Johnson and Ballas earned the disco-ball trophy over actor Gilles Marini and partner Cheryl Burke, who finished second. Third were "The Bachelor" contestant Melissa Rycroft and partner Tony Dovolani.

Final results were based on the combined scores the three couples received from the judges on Monday's and Tuesday's shows (50 percent), and audience votes from Monday's show (50 percent).

"I tried really hard, and I feel I really peaked tonight," said Johnson, after she and Ballas danced the cha cha Tuesday for a perfect score of 30 points. "I had a great time, and I loved every second of it."

All three judges praised Johnson's precision and expressive development over the course of the 11-week competition.


Mark Ballas and Shawn Johnson, season-eight champions of "Dancing with the Stars"

"The longer you go, the stronger you get," judge Len Goodman said. "I've always been impressed with your technique and your precision. My problem has been lack of performance, but tonight you've come out."

Judge Bruno Tonioli teased Johnson about her gradual maturity throughout the season. "You're getting hotter by the day!" he said. "From cute to saucy and sexy. And your technique is always spot-on. Great!"

Carrie Ann Inaba, the third judge, said Johnson earned her place in the finals.

"I think we all underestimated you," Inaba said. "In the last three weeks you've just powered your way right to the top, and you deserve to be right where you are."

Marini, who before Tuesday's show noted the gymnast's "true competitive spirit," said Johnson and Ballas were worthy champions.

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

Ballas, who partnered with Olympic figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi to win the trophy two seasons ago, praised Johnson's technical commitment and dancing skills.

"I definitely feel that Shawn has come a long away, from a little caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly," Ballas said. "I am so proud and honored to be her partner, and to take her this far."

At 17, Johnson is the youngest competitor in "Dancing with the Stars" history. She credited the show for giving her a new perspective on competition.

"I've grown up a lot since starting this show," Johnson said. "My whole life I've been a competitor. With this show, I've learned to be a partner."

External Link: Dancing with the Stars

Comments (8)add comment

Elizabeth Booth said:

Elizabeth Booth
...
Congratulations Shawn!

Hopefully now IG can now refocus and concentrate on gymnastics instead of reality TV.
 
May 20, 2009
Votes: +0

Liz Mitchell said:

Liz Mitchell
...
Woot woot for Shawn!!!

And I don't mind IG's coverage of reality tv...I think it's great that gymnastics and Shawn are gaining notoriety through the show!
 
May 20, 2009
Votes: +4

valynn lyon said:

0
...
Her dress reminds me of a leotard I once saw her in!?!?!
 
May 20, 2009
Votes: +0
She looks strange., Low-rated comment [Show]

LadyJ said:

LadyJ
Grow up, people
I cannot believe how rude some of you are. Shawn accomplished more in her 16 years than most of you will in your entire lives. Comparing her to a "carrot" and making fun of her weight is way out of line and extremely disrespectful.
 
May 22, 2009
Votes: +3

Panchito Paz said:

Panchito Paz
...
Well technically speaking LadyJ, she wasn't being compared to "a carrot". She was being compared to "a person" who happened to eat 10,000 carrots. Additionally, it wasn't her weight being made fun of, but rather her physique "like a linebacker".

Anyway... congratulatons Shawn on your win.
 
May 23, 2009
Votes: -2

LadyJ said:

LadyJ
...
Give me a break. There is not a woman alive - particularly one who is just 17 - who would would welcome being compared to a linebacker. Linebackers are not known for a womanly physique, but a bulky, often overweight one.
 
May 23, 2009
Votes: +3

Panchito Paz said:

Panchito Paz
...
Excuse me... I don't condone anyone being put down because of their weight. Nor do I welcome comments about a woman being compared to a linebacker. I was merely being critical of how accurate YOUR analogy was (LadyJ) of the previous comment. It had nothing to do with Shawn.

Again, I see problems in your response/posts:
1) Your original post said Shawn was 16. Then in your second post, you infer that she is 17 years old. So which one is it, 16 or 17 years old?
2) How do you know there is "not a woman alive" who whould welcome being compared to a linebacker. This is a gross generalization. Do you speak for all women? - no I didn't think so.
3) Technically speaking, as Shawn is "just 17", she is not yet a woman and would be classed as a juvenile in a court of law.
4) You are making the assumption that bulky = overweight. Bulky could also mean muscular or other things, not just overweight.
 
May 24, 2009
Votes: -4

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