`Dancing with the Stars': the winner

May 21, 2008|By Sarah Kickler Kelber

Capping off a series of flawless performances, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi took home the mirror-ball trophy last night to win this season's edition of Dancing with the Stars.

The Olympic champion is the first woman to win the hit reality show since Season's 1 Kelly Monaco in 2005. She and her professional partner Mark Ballas were consistently at or near the top of the scoreboard during the show's sixth season. And in the two-part finale, she finished strongly with perfect scores on both nights.

She out-danced Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, who overcame his fears of taunts from NFL teammates and showed unexpected grace on the dance floor, and Chilean TV star Cristian de la Fuente, who stayed in the competition despite rupturing a tendon during a live performance.

Yamaguchi's win shows that sports figures might have an edge on Dancing: The past three winners were race car driver Helio Castroneves, Olympic speed-skating champ Apolo Anton Ohno and former NFL running back Emmitt Smith.

Also performing on last night's show were the nine other contestants, including Baltimore R&B singer Mario, who finished in fifth place.

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