Backstage: Smiles, Tears and Reflections from the Winners and More
Dancing with the Stars, Derek Hough, Brooke Burke
"Thanksgiving is going to be just a lot of relaxing and quality family time," Brooke Burke said just moments after being named this season's Dancing with the Stars celebrity champ. "My family gave up a lot for me to do this. They gave up so much mommy time." Burke's pro partner, Derek Hough, similarly was happy to be a winner, yet just as thankful to get a deserved (if brief) time-out. "Dude, Thanksgiving is going to be rest," he declared. "Epson salt bath ... maybe a massage. I have to start rehearsing for the tour on Friday."
Comedian Jeffrey Ross, who as part of Tuesday night's results show pointedly "roasted" his former cast mates, pondered what Burke and Hough could have done better. "Maybe if they had lit themselves on fire and hung from the ceiling," he said. "They got 30s on this show. You're talking to a guy who got a 12."
Derek's father, Bruce Hough, grinned from ear to ear, as the Dad to now two Dancing champs (Julianne included). "It's so nice to see him rewarded for all the hard work," says the elder Hough. "Derek is a complete worrywart. Before a dance, he goes nuts, trying to figure out what he's going to do, what's going to go wrong, is my partner going to remember the steps? But once the music starts, he just clocks in and he's great. He's an absolute pressure player."
As for the runners-up, Warren Sapp — tongue planted firmly in cheek — announced to the press backstage that the show "was rigged," and that he "was robbed." But he thought he and Kym Johnson had done themselves proud by coming in second and "being the last one standing next to the beautiful one," Brooke Burke. "We're the People's Champion," he said, referring to Len Goodman's assessment that Burke may have won with the judges, but Sapp was the public's favorite. "We'll take that," said Sapp.
As if there wasn't enough cheeky fun to be had in the ballroom on Tuesday, warm-up Cory Almeida announced during a commercial break that it was Bruno Tonioli's birthday. The crowd singing to him — while Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman swatted the birthday boy's behind with their paddles — was just one of many charming snapshots from the last big night at Dancing with The Stars. A few more:
- Before Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer did their encore jitterbug — a dance Bass somehow accomplished the first time despite kicking off one of his shoes — Benji Schwimmer, Lacey's brother, called out to him from the crowd: "Tie your shoes! Double knots!!"
- Laurie Kauffman, Lacey's mom, held court on the secret ingredient in her delicious chocolate chip cookies, which she's been supplying to Lance and Lacey every week. The couple made a habit of eating them before every performance, and Kauffman says that what makes them so good is that she uses a half of a bottle of pure vanilla extract (which has high alcohol content) in every batch. Informed of that after the show, Bass says, "No wonder we did really good. We were just trashed."
- Cloris Leachman reported on her health after a bad upper respiratory infection. "I'm feeling much better and I've lost 11 pounds," she says. "But I gained three back and I ate four Snickers tonight." Asked why she didn't try to bribe the judges this time for good comments, Leachman cracked, "Screw the judges. That's what I say."
- Burke's main man, Baywatch's David Charvet, hugged Derek's main squeeze, former Dancing competitor Shannon Elizabeth. Elizabeth was crying on the sidelines as Hough was showered with confetti.
Read Mickey's recap of the show here.