Shawn Johnson, a Gold Medal Gymnast at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and her dance partner Mark Ballas vaulted over the other two remaining couples in the finals to win the 8th season of Dancing With The Stars!
The tiny teen with the huge smile steadily improved her performances during the course of the season. Shawn seemed surprisingly unsteady at the beginning of the season for a world-class athlete that performs in the intensely scrutinized and ultra competitive arena of women's gymnastics.
Shawn and Mark out-scored the second place team of actor Gilles Marini (Sex and the City) and his partner Cheryl Burke with an Olympic-like total of less than 1%. Melissa Rycroft (a jilted winner on The Bachelor), who joined DWTS as a last-minute replacement only days before the season 8th's premier show, and her partner Tony Dovolani finished third.
During show segments leading up to the teams' final dances and scores, Shawn's deminuitive size was a target for some good-natured jibs and trash talk, culminating with Melissa's quip, "Shawn can't win, you have to be at least 'this tall' (holding her hand over Shawn's head) to take home the trophy!" However, Shawn got the last laugh and adds the "Mirrored Ball" Dancing With The Stars trophy to her cache of Beijing Olympic medals – Team silver, two individual silvers, and the Gold Medal for Balance Beam. Not only is Shawn the smallest (shortest) DWTS winner, she is also the youngest winner to date, she celebrated her 17th birthday just weeks before the 8th season of Dancing With The Stars kicked off!