Adam Larkey/ABC TV
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 | 7:40 a.m.
It’s been a whirlwind 72 hours for Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond, who won last night’s Dancing With the Stars mirrored disco ball trophy at the conclusion of Season 9 of the hit ABC show.
“I’ve never worked harder for any accolade than I have for this one. When you record an album, and it goes platinum … yeah, you’re in the studio, and you work hard for months, but it’s not like your whole body hurts. Maybe you get a little hoarse and tired. But on DWTS, everything hurts,” Donny said.
Donny revealed that he’s been dancing with a broken toe since Week 3 of the competition but says he kept going so his pro partner Kym Johnson could win her first trophy.
“The look on her face when she realized we’d won was everything I could have asked for,” Donny said. “I will never forget those three moments: Kym’s expression, dragging my wife Debbie onstage to share it and getting kissed by Marie for winning.”
Two long days of dance practice and camera rehearsals led up to Donny and Kym’s dance floor victory. However, within minutes of kissing his wife and sister, he raced off to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Then it was straight to the airport for a cross-country jet for this morning’s live appearance on Good Morning America. He’ll fly right back in time to be at the Flamingo at 8 p.m. today and promises to walk onstage holding the trophy aloft. Then tomorrow he’ll finally sleep and spend Thanksgiving at home in Utah with Debbie, their five children and a grandson.
Click HERE for our full live report last night and ponder with me as to why Whitney Houston’s two songs were recorded the night earlier and dropped in the final episode! I’m also wondering just how upset Mya’s father was over her losing. I’m reliably told that he kicked up a real commotion with ABC.
Donny screamed in jubilation at the moment of victory. He hugged Kym and then rushed to pick up his wife and carry her to center stage. His family joined him on the dance floor. Donny’s the first male to win after three consecutive seasons of female victories -- Kristi Yamaguchi, Brooke Burke and Shawn Johnson.
The 51-year-old entertainer also revealed that on Sunday night, he felt he’d hit the wall and couldn’t continue on for the final two nights: “I thought I couldn’t do this. I was lying down and saying I don’t think I can do this. Kym was so determined. She said, ‘We have to do it one more time.’ One of the biggest and main motivating factors from the beginning was that Kym has finished in second twice before. This is her first one. She wanted it so badly.”
Singer Mya was runner-up after being the leader for many of the weeks. “I’m just so happy to have made it to the finals,” she said graciously. The third-place winner was Las Vegas regular Kelly Osbourne, who said her life had changed because she’d grown so much during the show gaining confidence and learning to love herself. It brought rocker dad Ozzy Osbourne to tears when they hugged.
Our Flamingo headliner talked about being crowned king of the dance: “Monday’s freestyle was the breakthrough for us. It was the win. Our journey has been up and down, but everything Kym plotted out for the final dance was right on. It was her choice to do Broadway right from the get-go, so we collaborated on it.
“This now ranks at the top of everything I’ve ever done in my entertainment career. It’s been one more mountain to climb -- a great opportunity. It will be hard to beat this experience. It’s been worth every bit of sweat. In fact, blood sweat and tears. I will have withdrawal symptoms now. We became such a family over the 10 weeks of shows and starting rehearsals back in August. We were the best of friends rooting for each other, but at the same time archenemies looking at the trophy!
“You always hope you can win, but before the final results, I knew it could go any way. Kelly was the fan favorite, but Mya was the better dancer. I was worried. I didn’t know what was going to happen. When Tom called our names, it was a dream come true, and it makes for an interesting story because I am the oldest trophy winner. I’m almost 52, but I don’t hide it.”
The brutal TV schedule of practicing new dances each week in both Las Vegas and Hollywood and the live shows called for him to appear there every Monday and Tuesday and then fly back to McCarran and perform his Flamingo show with sister Marie every Wednesday through Saturday night, and then start all over again with the jet back to Hollywood.
“I am so tired, I need so much sleep,” Donny told fans last weekend on his Web site. “It’s been a real challenge doing both our live Vegas variety show and the TV production in Hollywood at the same time -- double the work, but double the fun. … I’ve lost 20 pounds but stand taller than ever. After 46 years in show business, my posture is finally correct.”
It’s now safe to expect tonight’s Flamingo audience to give him a standing ovation when he walks onstage carrying the trophy. No doubt when he and Marie close their show with a dance-off, she’ll have some sisterly comments to rib him about the win. Marie and he are under contract now at the Flamingo through 2012 and plan to continue that nightly dance-off, which always wins the loudest applause. With time on his hands now, he’ll be recording a new syndicated radio show from a sound booth built in his dressing room at the Flamingo.
Donny will fly home to Utah tomorrow for Thanksgiving. After he’s enjoyed all the stuffing and fixings, what will he do with the mirrored ball? He laughed: “I could put it outside Marie’s dressing room at the Flamingo so she will always see it and know I won and she only came close! Or I could put it on top of my house on a rotating pole with a spotlight so all of Utah can see it.”
It also was a winning night for Las Vegas cosmetics princess Rain Andreani. Her Rain cosmetics were selected for the makeup backstage for Donny, Kelly and Marie. plus Cheryl Burke, Edyta Sliwinska, Aaron Carter, Karina Smirnoff, Joanna Krupa, Melissa Joan Hart, Lacey Schwimmer, Natalie Coughlin, Anna Trebunskaya, Anna Demidova, Mya, Carrie Ann Inaba, Samantha Harris, Leeza Gibbons, Jane Seymour and Cloris Leachman. Rain told me from backstage: “It’s great exposure for us. I was really excited to be a part of Dancing With the Stars. They all loved the makeup and want us to be a part of the next season.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.
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