Dancing With the Stars season finale recap: Mama Mia!

It came down to a choice between Warren's showmanship and Brooke's technical grace after Lance's early departure, but the consistently high-scoring mother of four (!) assures her win with a killer final performance
Ep. 21 | Aired Nov 25, 2008

CENTERSTAGE A standout from day one, Brooke's footwork and general excellence could not be denied

Kelsey McNeal/ABC

'Dancing With the Stars' recap: And the winner is...

The Era of the Infallible Athlete is ovahhhh. For the first time since season 2 of Dancing With the Stars, the sporto did not win! Instead of NFL champ Warren Sapp, it was the very deserving TV host and model Brooke Burke whose 10 weeks of commitment, catfights, ice packs, tears, and questionable wardrobe choices earned her a modestly sized trophy shaped like a disco ball. Score! After two full hours of celebrity babble, laser light shows, and filler segments of Bruno's weirdest sexual innuendos cobbled together into one confounding run-on paragraph (kind of like this one), the only lingering question on most viewers' minds was a simple one: Why doesn't Derek let Brooke hold the damn trophy?

The elder Hough's ball-hoggery did seem a bit egregious, and it just looked wrong and selfish at the time. But the more time I spend thinking about it, the more I...(a) hate myself, and (b) realize that the last thing I'd want to do if my hyper-extended legs were wrapped around the noggin of Corky Ballas is to have to wrangle a heavy glob of metal at the same time. Hell, I'd probably allow my partner to smash that trophy into a million pieces of glitter if it meant I'd get the chance to reach sea level again. But that's just me. Julianne gets a perfect 30 for her attempt to hoist Brooke up herself, by the way.

Speaking of perfection, it's likely that the 30 she received on last night's Viennese waltz gave Brooke, who might not have won the popular vote, the necessary scoring boost to edge Warren out by about the margin of a single strand of fringe. Warren and Lance made quite the bizarre decisions to repeat dances that were neither traditional ballroom nor Latin for their final judged performances, and Lance's choice was especially confusing because he wore two shoes. Still, Warren's hustle was a huge crowd-pleaser, and since charisma is all he ever got judged on anyway, the ''Twinkle-Toed Teddy Bear'' probably assumed he'd go for the flashiest dance with the most lifts.

In fact, last night's two-hour bonanza might have been damn near intolerable if not for Warren and Kym's refreshingly laid-back sense of fun. I don't mean strictly within their dancing — in all of their confessionals and interviews, everything about their partnership came off as endearing, from Warren's sappy ''I love you'' to Kym's remark to Brooke just before she won: ''I love doing my hair and makeup next to you and chat-ting with you.'' Why do I love this so — is it Kym's delightfully chipper accent, her general sweetness, or the fact that this is just a hilarious thing to say right before a trophy is handed out? Whatever the case, this is pretty much my favorite compliment ever, and Kym is currently nipping at the legwarmer-swathed heels of Edyta in the race to become my favorite lady pro going into season 8.

NEXT: The men (and women) in black

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