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Yamaguchi takes home 'Dancing' crown

The footwork of Mark Ballas and Kristi Yamaguchi on Dancing With the Stars was a hit with the judges and the public.


The footwork of Mark Ballas and Kristi Yamaguchi on Dancing With the Stars was a hit with the judges and the public.

Kristi Yamaguchi came into the Dancing With the Stars finale with a perfect score and left with the mirrorball trophy.

Her victory over pro football star Jason Taylor broke the string of four consecutive male winners. The figure-skating champion was the first woman to claim the Dancing crown since the show's opening season.

"This is just the icing on the cake," Yamaguchi said after her victory Tuesday night. "I honestly thank all the fans out there … everyone who's made this a dream experience."

Said Taylor: "I never, ever thought I would get to this point."

"Kristi is so deserving," he said.

Cristian de la Fuente was the first finalist to be eliminated during the season finale Tuesday night.

Yamaguchi got a perfect score of 60 on Monday's show, and has regularly topped the judges' scoreboard throughout the sixth season of the ABC dance-off. But viewer votes count just as much, and the combination is what determines the winner.

Each of the season's celebrity contestants returned to the ballroom for the season final. Tennis champ Monica Seles, magician Penn Jillette, radio personality Adam Carolla, R&B singer Mario and actors Marissa Jaret Winokur, Marlee Matlin, Priscilla Presley and Steve Guttenberg each reprised their last dances and talked about their time on the show.

Past champs, including Drew Lachey, Kelly Monaco and Helio Castroneves, also appeared.

The only previous woman to take the title was Kelly Monaco in season one.

With a viewership that's 75 percent women — a fact not lost on Taylor, who like de la Fuente never shied from brazen displays of bare skin and sex appeal — the hit ABC show still had plenty of suspense for the final episode.

And it drew plenty of viewers to Monday's broadcast — 19.2-million, according to Nielsen. It was the most-watched program of the night by far.

Yamaguchi takes home 'Dancing' crown 05/20/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 12:05pm]
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