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Who will/should win 'Dancing with the Stars'?

SHAWN JOHNSON, Gymnastics Retirement date: June 3, 2012

Retirement date: June 3, 2012
Won a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the balance beam, and a silver medal in the all-around
After a brief comeback attempt, the 20-year-old called the sport “brutal,” and ended up retiring.
(Credit: AP)

But enough about Lindsay, Oprah, and Justin . . . what about "Dancing with the Stars," which wraps tomorrow night with the first all-female finale. Who will win? I am of course standing by my original prediction: Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough take it all, and take it all easily. This duo ranks as possibly the best in show history, and for evidence in support of this, check out — once again — last week's "Knight Rider Bhangra."  A "bhangra" is a folk dance of the Punjab region and not exactly a staple of "DWTS." Both probably struggled to master this, and while the end-result is not perfect, it's still reasonably remarkable.

My handicap:

Kelly Monaco/Val Chmerkovskiy: The first season's winner found instant chemistry with Val Chmerkovskiy, and clearly a like-minded approach to the show — namely a ferociously competitiveness. Monaco liked the taste of victory before, and likes it even more this time. Some routines have been ridiculously theatrical — aah, that Flamenco in a tiny pool of water, both clad in speedos — but never dull.

Bottom line: She'd be winner except . . . she comes in second place this season.

Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani: One advantage here all season has been her partner — they obviously know each other well (they were partnered before) and have built on their obvious strengths — in her case elegance, clarity of lines, and real beauty on the floor. She's been the season's single greatest surprise — and a happy one.

Bottom line: Her fans probably love her, but she's outclassed in this finale. Third place.

Shawn Johnson/Derek Hough: This combination of two major stars — one a great athlete, the other a more dazzling star than any of the all-stars — quite possible represents the best dancing team in the history of this show. They are so good — and electrifying, which is word you don't often use in talking about any "DWTS" dance, except at the risk of ridicule — that they are preposterously unbeatable. Their artistry is immaculate, their precision surgical, their power, grace, elegance and choreography far and away the best of any team this season.

 Bottom line: Your winners, easily

Tags: dancing with the stars , melissa rycroft , kelly monaco , Val Chmerkovskiy , shawn johnson , derek hough

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