With four wins in the first seven seasons, athletes have had a great track record on Dancing with the Stars. Would Shawn follow in the footsteps of previous jocks and win the mirrorball trophy, or would Gilles or Melissa be able to even the score?
The performance-laden DwtS 8 Finale began with Lady Gaga singing "Let’s Dance."
The bulk of the evening was taken up with performances by the couples eliminated earlier in the season. An easily overlooked highlight was the announcement that Anna Demidova beat Mayo Alanen in the Pro Dancer Competiiton, earning Anna a spot in the Season 9 cast.
Former DwtS contestant and "Roastmaster General" Jeff Ross roasted this season’s finalists, asking of Melissa, "Wouldn’t it be ironic if she came in second on this show, too?" (Unfortunately for Melissa, she wouldn’t even be that lucky…)
Then the finalists re-performed their best routines for one last set of judges’ scores (all 30s, of course). Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas kicked things off with a reprise of their Cha Cha Cha.
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani danced their Samba.
And Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke performed their Argentine Tango.
While the final scores were tabulated, Lady Gaga took the stage again to sing "Love Game."
Finally, it was time to announce the results. Melissa & Tony came in third, which was no real surprise. After Melissa got to say some final words, the winning couple was announced: Shawn and Mark, who beat Gilles and Cheryl by only a 1% margin.
That gave professional and Olympic athletes a 5-3 edge over non-athletes on Dancing with the Stars. It also evened the score between men and women, 4-4.