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Melissa Rycroft wins 'Dancing with the Stars,' Shawn Johnson robbed
First off, allow me to be the 5,675,345th to congratulate Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani on their big Mirror Ball heist on “Dancing with the Stars” last night. They did a great job this season -- the so-called “All-Star” one -- and have the consistently good scores to prove it (and in fact, the best scores). But Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough should have won. They were the best team, and probably the single best team on “DWTS's”, history going back 15 seasons. They were ridiculously good -- insanely good, and “DWTS” knew it was a mismatch from the beginning.
My theory -- and I always have one with “DWTS" -- is that the producers and judges simply wanted a new champion. Another Kelly Monaco or Shawn win? That wouldn't do. Viewers like the underdog -- the gritty kid who tries hard and prevails. Rycroft fit the bill perfectly. She was an immensely likable made-for-TV champ, and a famous back story to go with it -- you remember: That cad Jason Mesnick broke up with her on live TV during that notorious “The Bachelor” after-the-rose special, telling the universe (or that part of the universe that watched) that he preferred the model behind door No. 2 instead. The nerve! And Tuesday night, Melissa got her payback in full.
By the way, she was very very good. Dovolani had a very shrewd strategy -- accentuate her lone lines, all the more to appeal to the generally conservative tastes of the judges. Johnson was all power: Close to the ground, she rolled through routines, her lines never as clear. At the end of the day, I think the judges -- who badly wanted a new champ anyway -- just liked the LOOK of Rycroft's dances better.
But which team was the more interesting, vibrant, exciting overall -- the more athletic and inventive? Without a shadow of a doubt -- Derek Hough and Shawn Johnson.
But again, congrats to the winners . . . What else can you say at this point. Oh, right, to prove my point -- check out their supersized Freestyle from Monday.