Brazilian race car driver wins 'Dancing'
EmptyNEW YORK - Brazilian race car driver Helio Castroneves beat out English pop singer Melanie Brown on Tuesday to win "Dancing with the Stars," which pits celebrities' ballroom dancing skills.
Castroneves and his reigning champion dance partner Julianne Hough beat the Spice Girl known as Mel B and her dancing partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy in a hard-fought contest for the hit ABC show in its fifth season. Singer Marie Osmond and partner Jonathan Roberts came in third.
"This is an extraordinary moment right now," Castroneves said, wearing a bright mustard-colored suit. In an earlier recorded segment he said as an Indy car driver he never imagined he would enjoy ballroom dancing.
Castroneves, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, and Hough were trailing Brown by one point after being awarded 84 points by the show's three judges in the two-night finale. They snatched victory through a public telephone vote to hold the mirrored disco-ball trophy.
The usually chatty Brown, who was dubbed by the British media as "Scary Spice" for her outrageous attitude and who is to embark on a Spice Girls reunion tour in December, said she would have been speechless if had she won.
The show that is broadcast on ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co., had 22.8 million viewers last week, making it the top-rated U.S. broadcast show, according to ratings service Nielson Media Research.
The season finale also featured a performance by Celine Dion.
Osmond gained fame as part of the Osmond family of singers whose brothers, including Donny, formed a wholesome pop group in the 1970s. She starred in the "Donny and Marie" variety show in the same decade.
The fifth season of "Dancing with the Stars" featured other celebrities including Jennie Garth, formerly of TV show "Beverly Hills 90210," English actress Jayne Seymour, model Josie Maran and entrepreneur Mark Cuban.