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Shawn Johnson wins Season 8 of 'Dancing'

May 19, 2009 at 11:21 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, May 19 (UPI) -- Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson was declared the Season 8 winner of "Dancing with the Stars" Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

Johnson, 17, beat out fellow finalists Melissa Rycroft and Gilles Marini and their professional dance partners to take home the coveted mirrorball trophy.

"This has been the most amazing experience ever. ... Thank you so much," Johnson said upon learning she and her partner Mark Ballas had won.

Host Tom Bergeron said this season's competition was the closest ever with less than 1 percent of the final tally separating Johnson and Ballas from runner-up couple Marini and Cheryl Burke.

The winner was determined by combining two night's scores from the show's judges, as well as viewers' votes.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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