Jennifer Grey wins Dancing With the Stars
Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey came out a winner in the 11th season Dancing With the Stars finale Tuesday, with Kyle Massey in second and Bristol Palin in third.
Grey had been rushed to the hospital that same morning for a slipped disc.
Her partner, Derek Hough, is the only dancer to have won the competition three times.
A combination of judge's scores and a record-breaking amount of votes from 20 million viewers determined the win, which was hotly disputed in the weeks leading up the finale due to a perceived bias favoring Bristol for her status as Sarah Palin's daughter rather than her level of talent, particularly when she beat singer Brandy Norwood to the finale. Many viewers thought that Norwood was the better performer.
"[Winning the competition] would mean a lot to me…it would feel like a big middle finger to all the people out there that hate my mom and hate me!" said Bristol at the beginning of the broadcast, though she ended things on a positive note when the votes were cast and professed that the season had been a "life-changing experience."
According to the Washington Post, this week's Monday finale attracted a record-breaking amount of viewers for the franchise – nearly 24 million – and went down as this season's most-watched broadcast. Producers said the response overwhelmed the voting hotlines that night.
Voting to the public was closed after Monday, and the final vote was determined by judge's scores from the contestants' final two dances.
Vegas odds-maker Johnny Avello told the Washington Post he thought Grey would win because "there has never been a person who has won this competition who wasn't better-than-average."
The two-hour season finale wrapped up three months of competition among celebrities and their professional dance partners.