IndyCar's Castroneves adds to trophy stash with dancing title
LOS ANGELES -- Speed trumped Spice in the "Dancing with the Stars" finale on Tuesday night, as Helio Castroneves upset Melanie Brown to capture the fifth "Dancing With the Stars" mirrorball trophy.
"It will look so good between my two Indy 500 trophies," Castroneves said. Later he admitted he was "shocked" by the victory: "I was not expecting it. Mel, she's an incredible dancer."
Indeed, Brown was by far the more polished performer, consistently wowing the judges with her versatility and flair. She and her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, entered the finals in first place, one point ahead of Castroneves and Julianne Hough.
Both couples received perfect scores of 30 from the judges in their final dances Tuesday. But Castroneves' personality and enthusiasm, plus an effortless quickstep on his final performance, earned enough viewer votes to win.
Losing "was a horrible feeling," Brown admitted. "I'm not going to deny it."
Hough also had won last season's competition, with speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno.
Earlier Tuesday, as expected, Marie Osmond was the first finalist to be eliminated. She and her partner, Jonathan Roberts, came into the finals in third place with 46 points after a doll-inspired freestyle routine panned by judges and bloggers alike.
Osmond, 48, had enjoyed strong viewer support throughout the hit show's fifth season while enduring the death of her father and fainting on stage.
The show "gave me something that I knew was solid, something I can count on," she said in a segment recorded before her ouster. "It's been one of the best experiences of my life."
The ABC hit, which drew up to 20 million viewers per week, began with a dozen dancers. Model-actress Josie Maran was the first to be eliminated. Other nixed contestants were actresses Sabrina Bryan, Jennie Garth and Jane Seymour, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, entertainer Wayne Newton, boxer Floyd Mayweather, actor Cameron Mathison (who took off his shirt after his last dance Tuesday) and model Albert Reed.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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