In a somewhat surprising ending to the final Dancing With the Stars results show of the season, reality star Melissa Rycroft was named the winner Tuesday night.
Rycroft, who finished third in 2009's Season 8, edged out Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, who many thought would become a two-time DWTS champion.
“My mind went blank for a minute,” Melissa Rycroft told reporters after the show as to what she was thinking when host Tom Bergeron announced her as the winner.
“When we were standing there with Shawn and Derek (Hough) I assumed it’d be them. After I realized it was our names, I said, ‘Oh, my God! How did this just happen?’”
The shock was evident as confetti rained down, Melissa burst into tears, and her partner Tony Dovolani's profane, excited shouting kept the ABC censors busy.
After 14 seasons without a Mirror Ball win, Tony's elation can be excused.
“What a feel-good win,” remarked Bergeron, master of understatement.
No doubt, Melissa's likable pro played a sizable role in her victory. Tony has been a fan favorite with his patience, nice-guy attitude and positive demeanor.
"This has been a long time coming for Tony," Bergeron soon noted.
The other competitors hoisted Melissa and Tony on their shoulders to celebrate; Melissa had been the only finalist to have never won a previous season.
The couple had few expectations given that they started out competing against numerous past winners in terms of both stars and pros.
“We thought we’d go home in week one,” Dovolani said later.
“We were going to try to hold our own and maybe leave sort of impression,” Melissa Rycroft mused. “We never thought we’d be champions or the last ones standing."
"I wish we hadn’t underestimated ourselves but at the same time it makes us more proud.”
Did Melissa Rycroft deserve to win Dancing With the Stars?