It was the perfect ending to “an emotional roller coaster season” Donny Osmond told PEOPLE minutes after he and partner Kym Johnson were awarded the Season Nine mirror ball trophy. The former teen idol, 51, humbly addressed fans and press members after the show, tearing up as he tried to express how he felt to be the winner.
“If you saw the work that went into this season,” Osmond said softly. “Kym is so amazing. Of all the things I’ve done in my career, this is right up there.”
When Osmond heard his name called, he rushed over to his wife, Debbie, and swept her off her feet and onto the ballroom floor.
“That was so special for me to have Kym on my right and Debbie on my left. What a night,” said Osmond, who was surrounded by his family after the show. His sons quipped that a great place to display the trophy would be on top of this year’s Christmas tree.
Osmond beat out runner-up Mya, who had consistently performed well this season, and fan favorite Kelly Osbourne.
“I was so shocked when Kelly was eliminated. I couldn’t believe it,” says Osmond, who joined the crowd in chanting “Kelly! Kelly!” as Osbourne left the dance floor.
Osmond and Johnson had to miss Tuesday night’s wrap party in order to catch an overnight flight to New York to appear on Good Morning America Wednesday. But after that, Osmond said his plans were to reconnect with his family for Thanksgiving. And then, he said giddily, “We’re all going to Hawaii!”
Just moments after Osmond and his partner were announced as champs, a pyrotechnic display on the stage behind them sparked a fire. A tarp covering the orchestra pit and instruments caught on fire while host Tom Bergeron was speaking to the victorious couple live on the air. Two crew members rushed onto the stage with fire extinguishers and put out the flames within a matter of seconds.
“It was crazy,” pro dancer Anna Trebunskaya told PEOPLE after the show. “They put out the fire fast, so fortunately no one was hurt.”
It was the last of a series of technical difficulties that peppered the two-hour finale, which, all in all, was arguably the most exciting telecast of the season, and kept host Bergeron on his toes.
During the first five minutes of the show a recap video of Monday night’s performances had a glitch and froze. Bergeron jumped in and quipped to viewers, “Did I mention that we’re a live show?” The show went to commercial for 60 seconds before the video recap was repeated, with the affable host joking that the do-over was on purpose because they wanted to make sure viewers were paying attention.
Later in the telecast, Osmond took center stage to sing his 1970s hit “Puppy Love” while Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower danced. For the first several lines of the song, Osmond’s microphone was not working. But he kept on singing and within seconds, sound was restored and all of the soccer moms in the audience, and presumably at home, swooned in stereo.
Mya, the evening’s runner-up, was duly impressed.
“He is such a professional and he is teaching us all how to do it properly,” Mya said. “I have the utmost respect for him.” — Monica Rizzo