Dancing with the Stars rounded off its firsts on Tuesday night by announcing a first-time winner in the first all-female finals in the show's first All-Stars season. After being showered in confetti on the stage for their victory, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani gleamed as bright as the Mirrorball Trophies they held in their hands after the show.
"When it was just down to the two of us, we were going, 'O.K., [if we finish] second place, we've already topped what we did Season 8; [we] can't be disappointed' and then you heard Tom (Bergeron, host) say our names and it was just like this moment of 'Did this just happen? Did we just beat the powerhouse Olympian right here?' It is unbelievable," Rycroft said as her partner looked on with a wide smile.
Early frontrunner in the competition Shawn Johnson was expected to win her second Mirrorball Trophy despite ranking lowest amongst the three finalists after the last round of judged dances on Monday. Although she strived to add another Mirrorball to her trophy case, Johnson said she nevertheless enjoyed the experience, as did her partner, Derek Hough.
"I feel great. I think we both feel great," she said after becoming this season's runner-up. "We put everything out on the dance floor. Even though you don't get the Mirrorball Trophy, you still have the biggest reward of seeing everybody on their feet and feeling the pride you have for putting everything out there."
While neither Johnson nor fellow finalist Kelly Monaco seemed fazed to have missed out on their second Dancing victory, Rycroft and Dovolani both won their first Mirrorballs on Tuesday. Hough, who has thrice won the show in his eleven seasons, was happy for his fellow professional dancer to finally win his first after fourteen seasons.
"He's been here from...Season 2, and he's had some difficult seasons to say the least," he said. "For him to come out on top--honestly, when we were the last two up there, I had zero nerves. It was unusual; I was like, 'Wait, why am I not nervous at all?' [It was] because if we won it would be incredible, but if they won it would be just as incredible for us because we know how much it means to them."
Although Johnson, Hough, and Monaco all had the comfort of a previous Mirrorball Trophy to ease the sting of defeat, Monaco's partner Val Chmerkovskiy has yet to win a trophy in his three seasons on the show. Above all, Chmerkovskiy was excited to witness his close friend Dovolani win his first.
"Everything happens for a reason and I just felt lucky that there was justice tonight. I feel like, personally, I got what time has given me and Tony got what he deserved," he said, content to finish third after finishing tenth last season. "Everything's about timing, and there's nothing more perfect than that for Tony, especially at this time."