The news is out that Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd won the 2012 Dancing With The Stars season, but how did the underdog do it? With the help of his dance pro Peta Murgatroyd. But how did his wife react to him practicing his dance routine with the hot blonde for long days and even longer nights? The Green Bay Packers football star is a Super Bowl champ, but how was he this season as a competitor? All the cast members character was revealed on finals night, May 22nd. Here’s the DWTS trivia about all the star celebs as well at the new Mirrorball Trophy winner’s penchant for romance.
The cast and dance pros of Dancing With The Stars 2012 — a season critics are saying was the most competitive ever — took to the stage to do a group dance number right out of the gate. Then, the show producers rand the video clips of the previous night that included what the live studio audience did not hear. William and Cheryl got good scores the evening before, but seemed like he was viewed as a one note wonder for really only being great at exciting the crowed by shaking his bum. Granted, it is a tremendous asset but still. Katherine and Mark truly dance like champs and she will undoubtedly be able to take to an American Broadway stage to sing and dance in a musical now with no problem, but the opera singer from Whales might not have enough of a fan base in the United States to help her get enough votes to beat the Latin hottie or America’s favorite Green Bay Packer — Donald Driver. Donald and Peta did a Freestyle dance on May 21st that was totally unexpected. The did a country line dance to a rap by Cowboy Troy that thrilled the judges, the live studio audience, and ultimately the fans watching the show from home. The celebrity judges asked him to perform the dance again on the last show of the season.
In an epic battle for the Mirrorball Trophy, the three couples took to the dance floor to try one more time to impress the judges. Since America voted the night before, the last dance really allowed them to vie for the judges hearts. Heading into the night, Katherine Jenkins was in the lead, as she and Mark Ballas had sixty points on the leader board. But William Levy and his partner Cheryl Burke as well as Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd were right behind them, tied with fifty-nine points each of their own.
The challenge? The reality TV competitors were only given the music for the final dance 24 hours before they took to the ballroom dance floor. Considering how exhausted they all must have been from performing the two dances the night before, all three couples showing up to dance really proved they are already pros. But before that happened, one of the better cast members who had been voted off early got a chance to dance again. Sherri Shepherd did a dance to “It’s Raining Men” that was hilarious. Welcoming everyone back to the ballroom, Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke had an opportunity to give a peek at the cast members who were rehearsing before the competition. Then, the other cast-away cast members got a chance to dance once again.
Martina Navratilova and Jack Wagner came back to dance — separately, of course. The tennis pro did her best to keep up with her pro Tony Dovolani while the soap king pop star simply looked happy to be in the limelight again with his pro Anna Trebunskaya. Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff came back to perform his Rumba with the help of a few other girls. Clearly a lover and not a contender, the singer really looked like he was having fun once again dancing on the ballroom floor. At the end of the dance, he kissed and thanked each one of the girls. Gladys Knight and Tristan Macmanus boogied on the dance floor one more time before Jaleel White and Kym Johnson danced to the theme song to “Shaft”. [Steve Erkel was Stefan again and killed it with a truly fun and technically impressive performance.] Melissa Gilbert and brothers Val and Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced a sexy number once again and finished with a flirty tushie grab maneuver. Roshon Fagan and Chelsie Hightower did a Hip Hop – Techno inspired Freestyle that was entertaining to watch, cutting edge, and sweet at the same time.
Kelly Clarkson sang live while several pros danced, giving the dancers even more time to practice their final routines and warm up while she entertained the audience at home as well as in the ballroom studio audience. But before the big show, semi-finalist Maria Menounos and Derek Hough took to the floor to do a smouldering Argentine Tango. They had been one of the final four couples on the show despite her plethora of injuries and his being so enamored with her that he seemed nervous working with her the whole time they were filming the show. [Rumors are they are dating in real life although they are keeping it quite a bit on the down low.]
Finishing out the judges scores with their final routines, the last couples standing finally hit the dance floor for the final round. The judges scores [points total] are worth 50%, while viewer votes hold equal weight.
William Levy and Cheryl Burke danced first to Salsa music while wearing Chartreuse. Len told him is Salsa was an Olympic sport, he would be a gold medalist. Bruno said hips don’t lie: nobody does it better than William. Carrie Ann noted they heated up the ballroom with their sexiness and passion but what he has the most of is true star quality. Their final scores were the predictable 10 – 10 – 10, giving them a total of 89 for the night.
Next up, Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas wowed the crowd dancing a Jive. Showing the video clip of her training for the last dance she broke out in tears at the thought that it would be the final one. Sweet, swinging and sassy dressed in bright orange, there was nothing wrong at all with the routine. Their performance was stellar and Bruno was the first to say she was the girl that has it all. Carrie Ann agreed she is such a brilliant artist and thanked them for setting the bar so high at the beginning of the season. Len said judging is only an opinion but he thinks Katherine is the complete package when it comes to being a ballroom dance champion. The judges gave her a perfect 10 score — which gave them 90 points.
Last, Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd danced a Cha Cha Cha — pitting him more so against William than Katherine in such a way the judges could really size his Latin dance skills progress up. His video clip of his last dance practice showed how tired he was but that his commitment to learn the routine and keep working with Peta overcame his exhaustion. Wearing hot pink, they looked gorgeous. Taking off his shirt almost immediately during the routine, he showed off a fit physique. Carrie Ann said he was the one to beat for the evening. Len said they had some great footballers on the show over the years, but he was (so far) they best they have had. Bruno called him a brilliant strategist for getting better and better week after week and peaking at exactly the right time. His last dance earned a 10 – 10 – 10 and was arguably his beast dance of the season.
All that was left to do was to tally the judges votes with the viewers votes and figure out which celebrity couple would take the Mirrorball Trophy home. In what felt like the closest race ever, the suspense was incredible. Could the Green Bay Packers fans have swung the vote enough to help Donald beat William? Was the very real fact Katherine had never had a bad dance or one that needed significant improvement all season long actually have hurt her? Should the fact Donald Driver improved steadily all season long, took judges criticism constructively, and never had a bad moment with Peta be something to consider when naming a champ — because he acted like one?
By 10:45, Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke stalled while the decision about who would come in third, which couple would take second, and the Mirrorball Trophy winner was being tabulated. Gladys Knight took to the stage to sing “Memories” while giant screens showed video clips of the finalists along their reality television competition journey.
At 10:49, the three couples all swallowed hard while the hosts talked about their strengths during the season. When the clock hit 10:50, it was announced that William Levy and Cheryl Burke had won third place. Looking rather glum, he seemed to be consoled by the cheering crowds. But when the cameras panned back to the other two couples, they looked even more unhappy than he did. Katherine always looks fearful and positively sick before any elimination round. Donald looked completely nervous and almost dejected — the way he would if he lost a Super Bowl Championship.
Breaking for commercial, the show did not return to air until 10:55 — not leaving much time for the final announcement. Eventually, the news broke that Donald Driver won the Mirrorball Trophy and the crowd went wild. He could not have been more excited or elated. Poor Katherine Jenkins was so gracious about her loss that one can only hope she will be on next season’s show. The producers are bring back past winners, finalists, fan favorites and more as an all-star cast.
Nothing was more touching than seeing his wife come out on stage to congratulate him and give Peta Murgatroyd the biggest, most genuine hug any woman could give. The kind gesture proved what everyone suspected about the football player all along. He won because he’s become a class act through faith, love, perseverance, dedication to excellence, and (ultimately) family trust. She married him before he was rich and famous and has stuck by him though it all.