Brooke Burke waltzes away with "Dancing" crown

Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:28pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - They did the tango, the samba and the quickstep, and when the music stopped Brooke Burke and Derek Hough won U.S. television contest "Dancing With the Stars," waltzing away with the coveted mirror ball trophy.

Their victory on Tuesday night capped a stunning season for Burke, the 37-year-old former host of E! television show "Wild On," and her professional dancing partner Hough.

The pair came in first place in eight episodes of the show and topped the season of one of U.S. TV's most popular shows with a perfect score of 30 on the final night and 88 points out of 90 for their last three dances.

Dancing a Viennese waltz, Burke and Hough beat former 'NSync singer Lance Bass, 29, and his dancing pro Lacey Schwimmer, as well as one-time professional football player Warren Sapp, 35, and his partner Kym Johnson.

"Unbelievable," was all that Burke could utter upon finally winning the program.

Hough, who suffered from a sore back in a season filled with injuries to other competitors, also seemed overwhelmed.

"The journey's been so long. It's been tough. It's been wonderful. It's been everything I could ever hope for," Hough said.

Sapp, who finished No. 2, had become an audience favorite for his showmanship, but his lack of skilled footwork hurt his chances with the show's judges. He and Johnson did the hustle in their last dance on Tuesday and earned a total 80 out of 90 in the final round of dances.   Continued...

<p>"Dancing with the Stars" contestants Brooke Burke and her professional dance partner Derek Hough dance during the program November 24, 2008 in this ABC network publicity photograph. REUTERS/Kelsey McNeal/ABC/Handout</p>