Yamaguchi wins 'Dancing With the Stars'
What did I say about predicting the outcome of reality TV competitions?
To be honest, I was glad to see my cynical forecast of NFL star Jason Taylor as the sixth season winner on ABC's Dancing with the Stars proven wrong tonight -- mostly because ice skating champ Kristi Yamaguchi has nailed just about every dance and deserved to be the show's first female winner since its debut season in 2005.
Yamaguchi's facility and ease with all the moves made her the best celebrity dancer onstage by miles -- her freestyle routine last night set to Michael Jackson's Working Day and Night could have been an MTV video by itself. Only audience popularity or judging shenanigans could have unseated her, and thankfully, none of that went on.
And while American Idol has grabbed most of the magazine covers and press coverage, Dancing with the Stars has risen to see episodes ranked just under Idol in viewership, proving that a huge cross section of couch potatoes enjoy watching a bunch of sorta-famous faces try their hand at foxtrots and tangos.
The field was uneven enough that Taylor and Yamaguchi emerged as standouts by the third episode -- producers' biggest challenge may have been in making it look like a competition over the next eight weeks. And at least I can feel heartened that, two episodes in, I picked winner and the runner-up -- I just had them in the wrong order.
Yeah, I'm not buying that excuse, either. Still, it's heartening to see that occasionally -- even on reality TV -- the best competitor can win. Check out her way cool freestyle dance below: