Dancing with the Stars 2012 came to a dramatic and decidedly surprising end on May 22 as NFL star Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd were declared the season 14 winners.
Donald and Peta overcame fellow finalists Katherine Jenkins and William Levy and their respective partners for the victory. Although the duo had a solid season and judge Bruno Tonioli praised Donald’s willingness to accept criticism and adapt his performances in response, a single routine likely impelled them to the win: an over-the-top, country-themed May 21 Freestyle, which saw them dressed in Packer green and gold and gyrating in a style reminiscent of that of season 2 winners Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke.
Finishing in second place were Welsh classical singer Katherine and pro partner Mark Ballas, who Len Goodman praised for “setting the bar” high with consistently solid, technically sound performances. Katherine was the season’s best all-around dancer, and arguably should’ve taken the win. Her downfall was a comparatively small fan base. To her credit, she was gracious in defeat, calling her DWTS experience “an absolute dream” and extending congratulations to Donald.
William and partner Cheryl Burke wound up in third place, much to the apparent disappointment of the actor’s young son, who hid his face upon hearing the news. William too was gracious in defeat, calling his experience “amazing” and saying that he’d miss everyone he’d met while on the show.
Although Donald Driver’s victory means the end of the Dancing with the Stars 2012 Spring season, the show will resume this Fall with an exciting All-Star edition featuring an as-yet-to-be-selected cast of former celebrity cast members. And one thing’s for sure: no matter who appears, it’s sure to be good.