Donny Osmond calls "Dancing" victory a career high

Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:04pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Dancing With The Stars" champion Donny Osmond on Wednesday ranked his win on the television show at the top of his career achievements, saying his entire body hurts after weeks of grueling rehearsals.

Osmond, who turns 52 next month, became the oldest winner of TV's ballroom dancing contest, despite having tangoed, jitterbugged and cha cha cha'd on a broken toe for weeks.

The ninth season finale of the ABC show pulled in a season high audience of 19.2 million viewers Tuesday night, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings. But the audience was also the lowest-rated conclusion in the four-year history of "Dancing", although it remains one of the top shows on U.S. television.

Osmond, a 1970s teen idol and former member of The Osmond Brothers singing group told Entertainment Weekly he had been dancing on a broken toe since week three of the 10-week competition.

But he added; "I don't think I've worked harder for any accolade than I have this one. When you record an album and it goes platinum ... yeah, you're in the studio and you work hard for months, but it's not like your whole body hurts.

"Maybe you get a little hoarse and tired. But on 'Dancing With the Stars', everything hurts," Osmond said.

Osmond, who beat Grammy award-winning singer Mya and Kelly Osbourne, daughter of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, danced an Argentine Tango for his final night freestyle with professional partner Kym Johnson.

But he almost didn't get there. "It was Sunday night. I thought I couldn't do this. I was lying down and saying I don't think I can do this. Kym was so determined. She said, 'We have to do it one more time,'" Osmond recalled.

Osmond beat his younger sister Marie Osmond, who finished third on the show two years ago, after a famous fainting fit halfway through the season.

"We are all so proud of you," Marie told "Good Morning America". "You won! Let's never talk about this again."

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)