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Dancing with the Stars: Hines and Kym Take Home the Mirrorball Trophy

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Goodbye, season 12 of Dancing with the Stars. Last night's finale had some really great moments, but ultimately the heavily favored Hines Ward and Kym Johnson walked away with the mirrorball trophy. His win may not have been a huge surprise, but Kirstie Alley‘s second place finish sure was.  The whole season, Kirstie was adored by the audience but not by the judges. But her freestyle dance was exuberant – she did a cartwheel! – and she finally got her first perfect score from the judges. The fact that she managed to beat out Chelsea Kane, who is about a third of her age, was a huge achievement, and Kirstie should be really proud. Chelsea should be super pissed at pro partner Mark Ballas, whose mugging and selfish choreography hurt her all season despite the fact that she was a solid dancer. I hope this is a wake-up call to the show that good partner work and choreography that plays to the celebrity's strengths (we'll call it “The Kym Technique”) should always win out over put-the-pro-in-the-center dancing and cheesy gimmicks (aka “The Mark Approach”). My heart also went out to Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Kirstie's partner, who has been in the finals several times (most notably with Mel B, who I think was totally robbed) but never managed to win. He was gracious last night and teared up when talking about Kirstie and how hard she worked, which ought to put those “Maks and Kirstie hate each other” rumors to bed for the time being.

A highlight of the reunion is always the return of the eliminated contestants. I was a big Chris Jericho fan this season, so it was great fun to see him come back to perform with Sugar Ray Leonard last night. Plus, it turns out that Chris can do a hilariously dead-on impersonation of judge Bruno Tonioli.

And now … time to immediately begin speculating on who should join the show next season. There's no rest for the weary when it comes to Dancing with the Stars.

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