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West Des Moines Native Shawn Johnson Cha-Cha-Cha’d Her Way Into Your Hearts: 2012 in Review

Mondays and Tuesday nights were DVR-alert nights for West Des Moines residents.

Editor’s Note: From the moment Shawn Johnson announced her retirement from gymnastics in June until the finals of Dancing with the Stars: All Stars, West Des Moines residents followed their hometown favorite on Patch. As we continue our look back at the stories that made you talk, laugh, cry or just scratch your head, we offer this from Nov. 27.
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Did gymnastics fans from across the country give Shawn Johnson another mirror ball trophy in tonight's Season 15 finale of Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars?

No. Despite support from the Fierce Five, reality star Melissa Rycroft took home the mirror ball trophy tonight.

"I feel like I've learned a lot about myself in the last 13 weeks," Johnson said to  Hough. "You taught it to me, I never would have got it on my own."

After two dances last night, Johnson had the lowest cumulative score from the panel of judges, not because she put a foot wrong, but because her first dance broke some ballroom rules. So, it was up to America to give her another win.

DWTS just wrapped up on WOI-TV channel 5; the winner will be announced close to the show's wrap at 10 p.m.

In tonight's two-hour finale, the contestants were to perform one final instant dance and all they know going in is that it could be a jive, cha-cha or rumba -- so they needed to prepare for all three dances. Johnson drew cha-cha, and went off to prepare for less than an hour before competing.

Filthy Confessions of a ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Correspondent – Read Iowa Patch Ediotor Deb Belt’s Reflections of Covering the DWTS All-Stars season.

Johnson won the mirror ball trophy in Season 8, in 2009. The 20-year-old West Des Moines native joined the All Stars version of DWTS after retiring from gymnastics earlier this year following a knee injury. She won four medals, including a gold medal on the balance beam, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Other celebrities in the first all-female Dancing With the Stars finals are reality star Melissa Rycroftand General Hospital actress Kelly Monaco, who won the very first season of DWTS.

Tuesday night the judges were asked to pick one dance from Monday to see again and they asked for Johnson's freestyle with the five gold-medal winning members of the London 2012 women's gymnastics team. The Fierce Five were lowered onto the stage on giant hoops, then tumbled across the stage to the finish pose with Johnson and Hough.

Gymnast McKayla Maroney told USA Today they wanted to help give Johnson a win in lieu of her aborted attempted to compete for Olympic gold in London, due to an injury. "We wanted to do really well for Shawn. We knew it was the finals," said Maroney.

In rehearsals before the instant dance Tuesday Hough prayed for the jive, but the pair drew the cha-cha.

"She's been a little light in my life, a spark," said a teary Hough in rehearsal footage.

Their cha-cha featured quick footwork by Johnson, arm movements that were in time with one another, and a couple of trick moves by the pair. The final move, where Hough vaulted over Johnson, drew the studio audience to its feet for a huge cheer.

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, "It's so amazing. Shawn, I think you started out the season as a star ... you are nothing less than perfection."

Head judge Len Goodman said, "You are the no-stress express. Derek has thrown some fantastic choreography at you. I know we've had our ups and downs this season, but that was fantastic."

"One thing is for sure, you are going out with a bang," said judge Bruno Tonioli.

Their scores were: three perfect 10s from the panel.

Monaco earned a 28.5 tonight from the judges for her impromptu dance, as did Rycroft. But, the deciding factor is voting by viewers and Monaco placed third tonight.

Recap of Monday's Competition

Johnson's first dance Monday night was a reprise of the quickstep that garnered some criticism earlier in the season from judges for breaking dance rules which forbid lifts and breaking holds.

In the tape from rehearsal, Johnson told Hough she wanted to go for entertainment and wow the crowd rather than play it safe for the judges. All three judges wagged their score-keeping fingers at Johnson for the dance.

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, "It's a fantastic routine, but I'm sad that you didn't choose to follow the rules. I hope your risk pays off."

The point total of 27.5 from the three judges -- below Rycroft's perfect 30 and Monaco's 29.5 -- put Johnson at risk. Hough told viewers, "It's up to you guys."

Super-Sized Freestyle

Monday's second dance was dubbed a "super-sized freestyle," so Johnson and Hough brought in reinforcements: this summer's women's gymnastics winners nicknamed the Fierce Five -- Gabby Douglas, Jordan Wieber, Aly Raisman, Mckayla Maroney and Kyla Ross -- joined Johnson in her freestyle dance.

"You are incredible, that was sensational," Inaba shouted. "We were waiting for this and you do not disappoint."

Head judge Len Goodman said the dance was a medley of the pair's greatest moves.

"Fierce, flawless, exciting, brilliant," hollered judge Bruno Tonioli.

"It meant the world to me, everything this guy's done for me," a somewhat emotional Johnson told host Brooke Burke-Charvet before the scores were announced.

The judges were wowed, doling out a perfect 30 for Johnson and her girls. But that still left her in last place among the judges' tally heading into tonight's finale. The rest is up to how viewers chose to vote.

Earlier DWTS Season 15 Coverage on Patch:

 

  • 'Dancing With the Stars' Results Nov. 26: Can Fans Save Shawn Johnson in Finale?
  • Is Shawn Johnson Favored to Win Another ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Glitter Ball Trophy?
  • 'Dancing With the Stars' Results Nov. 19: How Did Shawn Johnson's Slinky Tango Rate With Judges?
  • 'Dancing With the Stars' Results: Any Missteps for Shawn Johnson on Salute to Veterans Night?
  • Dancing with the Stars Results: Did West Des Moines Native Shawn Johnson Survive?
  • Dancing With the Stars Results: Did Shawn Johnson Get the Boot on Country Night?
  • Dancing With the Stars Results: Shawn Johnson Has Judges Squabbling
  • Did Shawn Johnson Survive to Dance Another Week?
  • Dancing with the Stars Results: Shawn Johnson Scores Three Perfect 10s
  • Dancing With the Stars Results: Did Shawn Johnson’s Reunion with Mark Ballas Help or Hurt Her?
  • Dancing with the Stars Results: Shawn Johnson Gets 'Best Dance Ever' Raves from Judges
  • Dancing With the Stars Results Nov. 20: Did Shawn Johnson Make It to the Championship Round?

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