Helio Castroneves became the third consecutive male athlete to win Dancing with the Stars. Somewhere, Jerry Rice is demanding a recount of Season 2’s results.
After a recap of the Performance Show, special guest Celine Dion performed her hit from Titanic, "My Heart Will Go On." DwtS pros Mark & Cheryl, Alec & Edyta, and Karina & Tony danced a routine that included gorgeous spins and even a few "king of the world" moves (but, sadly, no "boat hitting an iceberg" moves).
Without dragging out the suspense too far into the show, the third place couple was then announced: Marie & Jonathan.
Marie said, "I’m so pleased to be here at my age."
This prompted Tom Bergeron to quip, "You’re in your seventies, right?" Marie laughed, the same way she does when she thinks about the working conditions of her doll-making sweatshop workers, and then she and Jonathan gave a farewell performance of their Tango.
The dramatic announcement was followed by a recap of the entire season. A nice change in the finale format was that all of the eliminated couples were brought back to dance an entire routine, instead of the 30-second snippets they’ve danced in the past. Josie Maran & Alec Mazo danced their Fox Trot, and Albert Reed & Anna Trebunskaya danced their Cha Cha Cha.
Wayne Newton & Cheryl Burke didn’t dance, because Wayne’s doctors wouldn’t allow it, due to his heart condition. Floyd Mayweather & Karina Smirnoff also chose not to dance, due to Floyd’s "grueling training camp" in preparation for an upcoming boxing match.
The still slim and trim Mark Cuban & Kym Johnson danced their Fox Trot.
Then Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas danced a Cha Cha Cha that wound up being the most impressive performance of the night. Not because of the dancing, but because Mark appeared to dislocate his shoulder early into the routine, but kept on dancing. He limited his arm movements as best he could and managed to make it through the whole routine without crying, passing out, or running offstage. The long standing ovation from the crowd must have been torture.
Jane Seymour & Tony Dovolani danced the Viennese Waltz, and Cameron Mathison & Edyta Sliwinska reprised their Superman Paso Doble. Fulfilling his promise to take off his shirt if he made it to the finale, Cameron took his shirt off and gave it to Samantha Harris.
In response, Drew Lachey and Bruno Tonioli — seated together to promote their show Dance War — threatened to drop their pants, but didn’t follow through, at least not on-camera. Mark Cuban was kind enough to let Cameron wear his tuxedo jacket for the remainder of the show.
Jennie Garth & Derek Hough closed out the nostalgia portion of the show by performing their Mambo.
The top two couples had one more performance each: a reprise of their own favorite routines. Mel & Maks were up first, and they danced their Mambo. The judges were thrilled, and Bruno told Mel, "Your determination, your professionalism, and your good humor is a credit to you. You’re a star."
Backstage waiting for their scores — all 10s, of course — Maks called Mel "Queen of the Floor."
Helio & Julianne did an encore performance of their The Mask-inspired Quickstep (That’s The Mask, as in the Jim Carrey movie, not the Eric Stoltz and Cher movie, Mask — though that might make for an interesting routine, too). and Julianne held Helio’s head in place for an extra long smooch at the end. The couple was honored with perfect scores as well.
After Tom made a sojourn into the audience to talk to tease Jennie about falling one last time, it was time to announce the winner.
Helio & Julianne won the trophy, thwarting hopes for a female winner for yet another season. In prior seasons, the winners have always been the couples with the best freestyle routines, and Helio & Julianne’s victory fit the pattern.
Thanks so much, everyone, for joining us this season!