Scherzinger wins "Dancing With the Stars"

Wed May 26, 2010 1:34am EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer Nicole Scherzinger tangoed and jived her way to ballroom stardom on Tuesday, winning a tight contest on "Dancing With the Stars" and ending a season that by most measures was the TV show's best yet.

Olympic gold medalist skater Evan Lysacek wound up second and sports reporter Erin Andrews trailed in third.

The results might have seemed predictable to some fans because Scherzinger, a member of the Pussycat Dolls, was the clear front-runner throughout most of the season and Lysacek was a close second.

But Andrews and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy came on strong in Monday's performance round with a season high score of 55 points to tie Scherzinger and Hough for the lead. And all three couples made Tuesday's finale the closest yet after an initial round of Argentine tangos that wowed judges.

"In 10 seasons, judging these three tangos is the hardest job we've ever had," said judge Len Goodman.

So, when host Tom Bergeron announced Scherzinger was the winner, she seemed genuinely surprised, jumping up and down and screaming and hugging Hough.

She blew a kiss to her rival Lysacek and his partner Anna Trebunskaya, and he graciously accepted second place saying he was "totally satisfied with everything we gave."

In its 10th season, "Dancing With the Stars" featured contestants including former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, reality TV star Kate Gosselin and one-time Playboy model Pamela Anderson.   Continued...

<p>Nicole Scherzinger poses at the 7th annual Global Green USA pre-Oscar party in Hollywood, California March 3, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>