ESPN personality Erin Andrews and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy finished third in ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" on Tuesday night. Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger won the dancing crown for the 10th season of the show, while Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek finished second.
"This experience has meant everything to me," said Andrews, who is eager to return as a ESPN sidelines reporter. "I got into this after a bunch of crummy circumstances and I wanted to get my smile back. And now I've put my life back together again."
Chmerkovskiy said that Andrews had gone through a lot even to get to the finals and they -- "both strong-willed people", he says -- have grown closer over the weeks.
"You throw in all that personal drama and all the haters out there and she still remained focused and continued with the show," he said. "I'm extremely proud of her. We've created this bond. We will always stay in touch."
Andrews' coworkers at ESPN are eager to get her back.
"Everyone is so very proud for her and equally happy for her. She's worked very hard and it shows week in and week out in her performances," ESPN college football broadcaster Desmond Howard said. "It is apparent that she brought the same drive and work ethic that has made her a successful sports reporter to 'Dancing with the Stars'. In my eyes she's already won."