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
"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
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
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.