By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
We did it! Jennifier Grey and Derek Hough were crowned the winners of Dancing With The Stars last night
She defied all expectations to make it through to the Dancing With The Stars final, but last night Bristol Palin's luck finally ran out.
The 20-year-old was beaten by rival Jennifer Grey and partner Derek Hough, who had consistently topped the judges' leader-board throughout the season.
The pair's win has made Derek Hough the first and only three-time champion of Dancing With The Stars, after previously winning the competition with Nicole Scherzinger earlier this year and with Brooke Burke in 2008
Sarah Palin's daughter came in third place behind runner-up, Disney star Kyle Massey, 19.
Don't drop it! The pair accept season 11's mirror-ball trophy
A cancer survivor, Grey, 50, struggled with various injuries throughout the season - including a ruptured disc that almost stopped her from dancing on the final episode.
But her claim on the mirror ball trophy seemed at risk as Palin waltzed into the finals on a tide of public support despite coming bottom with the judges for more than six weeks.
After combining the judges' scores from two consecutive nights of dances with the public votes, Grey eventually came out on top.
Shedding tears of joy, she said: 'It's such a sweet thing at the end of such a tricky tumultuous journey and it was worth every second of it It was the chance of a lifetime and I'm so grateful that I didn't miss it.'
Asked what she would miss most about the show, Grey replied simply: 'Dancing.'
Golden moment: Jennifer struggled with various injuries throughout the season but came out on top
Hough, now a three-time champion of the show, swept her into his arms as they heard their names announced.
Grey later dedicated her win to her 9-year-old daughter, Stella.
Best known for playing the naive teen Frances 'Baby' Houseman in the coming-of-age film Dirty Dancing, she won hearts with emotional recollections of performing with Swayze more than 20 years ago.
Swayze died of pancreatic cancer in September 2009 at the age of 57.
Celebration: The dancing pair hugged after their impressive victory
Many fans had been hoping Grey would perform the Dirty Dancing lift to cap off her time on the show.
But she said her doctor recommended that she didn't complete the iconic move after undergoing neck surgery last year.
Palin again scored the lowest with judges in her final tango and cha cha cha dances last night, but was praised for her improvement over the last three months
'Going out there and winning this would mean a lot. It would be like a big middle finger to all the people out there that hate my mom and hate me,' she said before the result was announced.
Palin's cadre of voter support led to some surprising upsets, including Brandy's elimination after earning a perfect score last week.
Last week, one angry man blasted his TV set with a shotgun while watching the show, and an envelope filled with what turned out to be talcum powder turned up on the show's Los Angeles set.
Palin shrugged off the controversy, calling her critics 'haters' who were waiting for her to fail.
Behind the scenes: The pair soak up their win backstage and right, Jennifer with her daughter Stella
She said it was challenging to overcome the flurry of media coverage that erupted when she was voted in over Brandy, prompting some viewers to question the veracity of the voting system.
Producers said today that 'a record amount of activity' overloaded its online and telephone voting systems after Monday's episode.
'Some viewers reported experiencing difficulties registering their votes for the Dancing With the Stars finale, which affected each finalist equally,' show producers said in a statement.
Nobody puts Baby in a corner! Jennifer described her time on the show as 'such a sweet thing'
'The issue was promptly addressed' and voting times were not extended.
Viewer votes counted for half of each competitor's overall total.
In the first round last night, each couple performed their favorite dance from the season.
Jennifer and Derek revived their Viennese waltz from week one, while Kyle and Lacey and Bristol and Mark both reprised their tangos from rock week.
Taking it in her stride: Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas came in third place
Lady in red: Bristol performed a sassy cha cha, but it wasn't enough to lead her to victory
Cheer squad: Sarah Palin was in the audience to support her daughter
Jennifer earned another perfect 30 points, Kyle, deemed 'a stage animal' by Bruno, was given second place with 26 points and Bristol received 25 points.
The final dance of the season was a group instant cha cha cha to the Pink hit Raise Your Glass.
The two-hour finale also featured appearances from other celebrities who had been eliminated earlier in the season.
Second place: Disney star Kyle Massey with his dance partner Lacey Schwimmer
Singer Christina Aguilera also performed a raunchy routine from new film Burlesque.
David Hasselhoff attempted to make up for his surprise first-round elimination by poking fun at himself.
He can be seen reflecting on his defeat on the beach, before reprising his classic bare-chested Baywatch running scene as he jogs all the way to the DWTS studio.
Tough competition: Producers said today that 'a record amount of activity' overloaded its online and telephone systems during the voting period
He then appears to change quickly into a dancing outfit and comes out to sing the theme tune to his hit show while cavorting with three women in the classic red bikinis
Mike The Situation Sorrentino showed off his famous abs as he danced after taking part in a sketch that showed him as a future governor of New Jersey.
Brandy received a standing ovation for her two-step with Maksim Chmerkovskiy to the Friends theme song.
Former contestant Michael Bolton did not attend because he was performing a concert in London.
Come Hoff it! David Hasselhoff, who was eliminated in the first round, came back to perform the Baywatch theme tune
Look, no shirt: The Situation, real name Mike Sorrentino, performed to Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy
And Audrina Patridge, who was eliminated earlier in the competition despite being one of the season's most talented contestants, was also absent.
'I'm miserable at home in bed today, and super bummed that I can't be there for the finale or wrap party tonight,' she told People magazine before the show.
'I was excited to see everyone and looking forward to one last dance with Tony – he's been the best partner ever!'
They're back! Margaret Cho and Florence Henderson returned with their partners Louis Van Amstel and Corky Ballas
The Hills star was left humiliated when her mother launched into a drunk tirade following her exit from the show.
Lynn, whose outburst was caught on camera, later apologised for the foul-mouthed rant.
Dancing With the Stars has enjoyed one of the best seasons in its five year history on U.S. television.
More than 23 million viewers tuned in for Monday's finale, making it the most-watched show in the United States that night.
Racy: Christina Aguilera performed a raunchy routine from new film Burlesque
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Oh Baby! Jennifer Grey has the time of her life as she's crowned winner of Dancing With The Stars alongside three-time champion Derek Hough
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER