Riley and pro partner Derek Hough are the champions of the 2013 season of Dancing with the Stars

By Dahvi Shira
November 26, 2013 11:00 PM
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Twelve weeks of sweat – and a lotof tears – have led up to Tuesday night’s season 17 finale of Dancing with the Stars.

Finalists Amber Riley and Corbin Bleu were the season’s regular leader board frontrunners, while Jack Osbourne improved tremendously since he began, and touched people with his life story.

But it was Amber who won the mirror ball.

It was an exciting night. After all of this season’s former contestants danced a separate routine, the three finalists hit center stage for a fusion number.

Bleu and partner Karina Smirnoff kicked off the competition with a foxtrot-cha cha combo. “You messed it up at one little part,” judge Len Goodman told the actor. Bleu nodded and chuckled in agreement.

The other judges made the same point, but there didn’t seem to be any hard feelings because it was clear they still thought he was a solid dancer. The pair scored three nines, getting 27 points out of 30.

Next up were Osbourne and partner Cheryl Burke, who danced a Paso doble-salsa routine that also scored three nines. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba offered a slight critique for the dance, and Goodman commended a “terrific” Osbourne for climbing “a mountain” from the start of the competition to now.

The last finalists to make their way to the ballroom were Riley and partner Derek Hough, who danced a samba-quickstep fusion, which had the actress’s mom crying in the audience. “Amber and Derek, well done,” a teary-eyed Inaba told them. Goodman called Riley “bedazzling.” The pair scored a perfect 30.

Then came the night’s first big announcement. Eliminated off the bat was Osbourne and Burke.

“I’m definitely not a better dancer than my sister, for one,” the former reality star told the crowd right after his dismissal, referring to his sibling Kelly who landed in third place during a different season. “We’re both tied.”

He added: “Just going the distance for me was winning enough.”

Of Osbourne, who brought a typically unemotional Burke to tears on numerous occasions, the dance pro said, “Jack has not only been such a n inspiration to me but such an inspiration to everyone out there. Jack has shown me there’s so much life to live.”

And so came the announcement everyone was waiting for all night: The newest champions of DWTS are Riley and Hough.

“Anything that scares me I want to do,” Riley told the crowd after learning her fate, mentioning that it doesn’t matter what size you are. “You can do whatever, whatever, whatever you put your mind to.”

Bleu, who showed happiness for his competitor, told the crowd, “I thank god for this experience. I thank my family.”

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