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Dancing with the Stars Finale: the full report

It was a fairly predictable ending as Brooke Burke and Derek Hough walked off with this year’s Dancing with the Stars mirror-ball trophy.

Your winners: Brooke Burke and Derek HoughDid she deserve the win? If you’re going by who was the overall best dancer, yes. But is that what this competition is really about? Is that what it should be about? Lance was definitely the most improved coming up from near elimination to two near perfect dances. And for that he earned himself third place. Boo hiss, I say. He deserved at least second but I think that the voting was stacked against him as many people wouldn’t vote for a pop star over a football hero. And that’s not to say that Warren didn’t earn his place in the final – he did.

Warren Sapp surprised everyone with his grace and charm. Not the most technically proficient, he never failed to grab the audience with every performance. Athletes traditionally do very well on Dancing with the Stars, with four of the seven winners coming from that field. This could be because they’re used to the pressure of competition and the strain on their bodies. Pretty models traditionally don’t do well on the show, (with the exception of the first season winner Kelly Monaco) so it’s kind of a fluke that Brooke made it all the way to the top.

All of the finalists did an amazing job with both their freestyles on Monday night and their repeat favorite performances on Tuesday. Brooke and Warren both had routines full of dangerous lifts and leaps while Lance went back to his hip hop roots with a routine that probably cost him the second place spot.

As always, the eliminated stars were asked back on Tuesday night for another chance to strut their stuff. Everyone looked better than they had on the show and like Susan Lucci said, it was probably the fact that they weren’t being judged that made all the difference.

Misty May-Treanor was back sans crutches but still in no shape to dance. Toni Braxton also passed on the dance as she too was recovering from surgery. Cloris Leachman returned not only to dance but in a pre-taped segment where she went around asking people on the street who they were voting for. Mildly amusing but not worth the effort.

What wasn’t at all amusing to me was the roast of the final three by Jeffrey Ross. I know that the point of a roast is to poke fun at the person being roasted, but I thought this routine was wholly inappropriate. Jokes about Lance being gay and Warren being fat have no place on a family show such as Dancing with the Stars. ABC, I’m disappointed in you.

I was also disappointed by the much-hyped Miley Cyrus performance. I would have preferred to see them keep it all in the family and have Julianne sing at the finale accompanied by the DWTS pros.

The final three in the spotlight

In the end, Derek and Brooke were awarded the prize and they were quickly hefted into the air by Mark and Corky Ballas. It was a nice moment and it’s clear that they really are all one big happy family on that show. Must be tough for the pros to say good-bye to the stars each season, they get so attached. But they have the tour to look forward to and then it will be time for another season to begin.

So who will be on the celeb list for the next Dancing with the Stars? The search has already begun.

(Photos: ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

Don’t miss our interview with Derek Hough and his sister Julianne…here!

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