Dancing With The Stars Winners

Sunday, August 7 by Marina Szaven

The Ten Best “Dancing with The Stars” winners must grasp their glittery globe with the sweaty hands of hard won victory. Some reality TV contestants only need to  woo the audience for votes, but these D-List celebrities must win the scores, place their feet and show their bodies in a variety of spangled unflattering outfits. Of the past eleven seasons, only first season champion, Kelly Monaco, stays off the list, for her disputed win against “Seinfeld's” very own Mr. Peterman, John O’Hurley. Fans of the show insisted on a rematch, and O’Hurley took the crown, so their split decision remains off the list of the Best “Dancing with Stars” winners.

  1. Drew Lachey, Season 2, demonstrated that there is life after Jessica Simpson leaves your brother. Or, is it boy band infamy? In any case, Drew earned his glitter. Lachey’s 2006 freestyle dance with Cheryl Burke was voted the number one “Dancing with the Stars” fan favorite in 2010.
  2. Emmitt Smith, Season 3 champ, showed that football moves do just fine on the dance floor, and started an athlete's winning trend that goes on and on. Up against pretty boys Mario Lopez and Joey Lawrence, it was Smith who was the real “Dancing with the Stars” entertainer.
  3. Apolo Anton Ohno, Season 4, had plenty of gold, silver and bronze from the Winter Olympics. But, he showed the glitter dome the respect of his greatest championship skating runs. He and partner Julianne Hough, the delicious blonde spitfire, brought joy, abandon, and chemisty to the dance floor. Check out their contagious samba that also scored high on the All-time fan favorites. Besides, he kept Billy Ray Cyrus, or sympathy card Heather Mills, of the single leg, from advancing in the competition.
  4. Helio Castroneves, Season 5, as if race-car championship wasn’t enough tribute to his manhood, the married Castroneves started a flood of rumors about an affair with the lovely, and so young, Julianne Hough. Not even a fainting Marie Osmond or determined Scary Spice could stand between the smiling Indy 500 man and his mirror ball trophy.
  5. Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic champion and graceful dancer, continued the athletes as dancer trend, with her tough-to-beat track records of 10s all season long. She outlasted a diverse contestant pool that included Elvis’ Priscilla, comedian Adam Carolla, and Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin.
  6. Brooke Burke, and her amazing body, won Season 7. Always polished, always confident, she easily (if slightly boringly) outstepped stunt casters like Cloris Leachman, the ungraceful Kim Kardashian of home porn fame and soap opera diva Susan Lucci. She also earned a spot as “Dancing with the Stars” co-host thereafter.
  7. Shawn Johnson, Season 8. Another season, another Olympian snatching the “Dancing with the Stars” trophy from a rather misfit cast of Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, “Jackass” Steve-O and former Sheen spouse Denise Richards in the mix.
  8. Donny Osmond, Season 9, rightfully took the mirror ball trophy back to the Osmond clan, where all that is shiny and technically polished belongs. All due respect, Donny has been satisfying an audience and maintaining a sense of humor for 50 years now, and a return to the spotlight, however tinselly, is appropriate.
  9. Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls was no surprise the winner of Season 10. She’s been moving her body around the dance floor for a longtime, and ably so. The real star of the season was reality TV and tabloid fixture Kate “scary Mom of 8” Gosselin who galumphed her way across the dance floor, week after week, in a series of painful but impossible to look away performances. Even Pamela Anderson couldn’t top that.
  10. Jennifer Grey, Season 11 champion, quickly gained the sentimental vote when she tearfully recreated her dance with Patrick Swayze from the classic “Dirty Dancing” finale. She veered towards whiney in the middle of the season, but showed her impressive 50-year old moxie against the Palin voting bloc that kept young, stiff Bristol on the show. Teen charmer Kyle Massey proved a tough dark horse, but just like her infamous Baby character, she elegantly leapt to “Dancing with the Stars” victory.

- Marina Chavez