On the Scene: the 'Dancing With The Stars' finale | EW.com

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On the Scene: the 'Dancing With The Stars' finale

The final showdown of Dancing with the Stars came and went, but it certainly was an evening to remember, not just for new winners Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough, but also for every former contestant and audience member seated in the ballroom Tuesday night. The energy, as Bruno would say, was electrifying.

Of course, for Joey Fatone, it’s time to hang up those dancing shoes. And Laila Ali, put away that glitter, girl, and say goodbye. You gave your best, but we guess your best wasn’t good enough. Still, it was a good ride made all the more enjoyable by some fierce competition. So what did they all have to say before hopping on a private jet to New York, where Good Morning America beckoned? Read on for some post-show bites…

Carrie Ann Inaba: “From week 2, when Apolo did the quick step, I said that he was the surprise of the season. He had this special flair for the way he moves his body, and he mastered the footwork and all the details in a way unlike any other competitor thus far. That’s when he stood out and I thought, ‘You’d better watch this guy.’”

 Apolo Anton Ohno: “I only got three hours of sleep, not because I was nervous, I was just up. But no matter what happened, I was completely satisfied after our freestyle on Monday. But tonight, this is quite the birthday gift. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

 Laila Ali: “I’m okay now. I was shocked at first. I was stumbling over my words up there because I didn’t have a speech ready for if I didn’t win. So that was crazy for me. But it’s over. We didn’t win and I’m fine with that. I’m happy for Apolo. I would have been happy for Joey. They’re both great dancers.”

 Joey Fatone: “It was either them or us, there’s nothing you can do about it. You can beat yourself in the head all you want, but all in all, we won as far as the exposure we got, and my personal experience learning so much from Kym. I feel great. It was weird, the minute they announced it, I was okay with it. Even though I really wanted us to win, I was excited for Apolo. Now I’m going to get on a plane and drink everything under the table.”

Originally posted May 23 2007 — 1:38 PM EDT

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