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'Dancing With the Stars': The new champ is...

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Kristi Yamaguchi, Dancing With the Stars

Figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi is the season 6 Dancing With the Stars champion. The Olympic gold medalist, partnered with professional dancer Mark Ballas, becomes the first woman to claim the show’s mirror-ball trophy since Kelly Monaco in its debut season. Pro football star Jason Taylor and partner Edyta Sliwinska took runner-up honors after the show’s scores from the judges and viewer votes were tallied; Chilean actor Cristián de la Fuente and partner Cheryl Burke finished third.

The two hours leading up to the announcement of the Kristi victory included one more dance for this season’s previously eliminated couples; Usher performing ”Love in this Club” from his new album Here I Stand and a jazzy version of his hit ”Yeah” with the Pros dancing alongside him; and the crowning of Brittany and Brandon as champions of the kids’ competition, with the help of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Finally, Kristi and Mark reprised their jive, which earned the same perfect score of 30 it did the first time. Judge Len called Kristi ”the most consistent dancer this season,” while Bruno exclaimed that she ”never missed a beat,” and Carrie Ann thanked Kristi for ”representing the ladies so well.” Next, Jason and Edyta brought back the quickstep that received a 29 the first time around. Bruno called the pair ”angels,” Carrie Ann noted Jason’s grace and called him a ”force of nature,” while Len dubbed Jason ”the people’s champion.” The judges rewarded Jason with a perfect 30.

Check out Annie Barrett’s Dancing With the Stars TV Watch, including her full recap and commentary on the finale, where you can post your comments about Kristi’s victory and all things DWTS.

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