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Tampa's Erin Andrews places third on Dancing with the Stars, surprising no one

Erin2 Tampa’s Erin Andrews didn’t quite make the cut on ABC’s hit competition Dancing With the Stars, landing in third place during a two-hour live finale that basically revealed a winner experts predicted months ago.

First-place finisher Nicole Scherzinger emerged as an early favorite almost immediately, followed close behind by the evening’s second-place finsher, Olympic ice dancer Evan Lysacek. The pair had traded the top spot on the show’s scoring leaderboard almost throughout the competition, leading to early predictions they were the two to beat.

(“You actually seem surprised,” cracked host Tom Bergeron, as the Pussycat Dolls singer jumped up and down in celebration).

ESPN sideline reporter Andrews, daughter of WFLA-Ch. 8 investigative reporter Steve Andrews, worked hard to try and keep up, remaining competitive despite landing among the show’s lower scoring dancers a few times.

After her departure was announced about halfway through Tuesday night’s live finale, Andrews recalled starting on the show after nearly a year of bruising headlines following the revelation that a man had secretly taken nude Erin-andrews videos of her through a hotel room door’s peephole.

“I came here under really crummy circumstances,” noted Andrews, who debuted on Dancing with the Stars one week after the man who recorded the video was sentenced to 30 months in prison. “I just wanted to get my life back and my smile back. I just wanted to be myself again."

Her stint on the show also brought headlines of a different sort, as Andrews’ close bond with pro dancer partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy led to rumors the two were dating – something the ESPN reporter has denied.

Her costumes also sparked criticism from an unlikely source; View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who wound up apologizing after saying Andrews’ video stalker might have just watched the show instead of filming her.

Scherzinger-trophy The success of Scherzinger, Lysacek and Andrews also irritated some longtime Dancing with the Stars fans, who complained that the three had dance training and expertise the other celebrities lacked.

NicoleScherzinger, as a singer with the Pussycat Dolls, has made a career of performing involved choreography in videos and onstage; Lysacek essentially dances on ice and Andrews, whose sister is a professional dancer, performed with a dance team at the University of Florida.

But Scherzinger’s startling performances, which included a sizzling take on Tina Turner’s Proud Mary and an inventive Argentinian tango, led the judges to dub this season the best cycle of the competition in its five-year history.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:08pm]


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