Zoe Cramond & partner, Johnny Ruffo & partner, Danielle Spencer & partner

Congratulations to Johnny Ruffo on being crowned the Dancing With The Stars winner for 2012. Ruffo defeated Danielle Spencer in the finale, seeing away Zoe Cramond earlier in the evening. Ruffo takes home the glitter ball trophy and a significant donation for his charity Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets. The X Factor finalist went out with a perfect score of 30 in his final dance, and said he was amazed to have won the competition. “I said I’d be stoked if we made it to week five,” he said.

The show was highlighted with performances from Olivia Newton-John (singing “Xanadu”) and Shannon Noll (singing “It’s A Man’s World”), along with a dance spectacle from the cast of Burn The Floor. Adding to the show all past contestants returned to dance (except for Noll who withdrew earlier in the season due to a back injury) including Kerri-Anne Kennerley, appearing for the first time since her breast cancer news. “It has been gut wrenchingly, nauseatingly difficult (and) terrible,” Kerri-Anne said. “I’ve got the most enormous support… everyone’s been so supportive but tonight is all about the joy of dancing.” The show also included Brendan & Alex Fevola dancing a waltz together.

After combining the judges scores with the viewer vote the final scores were:
JOHNNY RUFFO & Luda Kroitor: 28 (Foxtrot) + 26 (Cha Cha face off) + 30 (Freestyle Dance)
DANIELLE SPENCER & Damian Whitewood: 28 (Jive) + 27 (Cha Cha face off ) + 29 (Freestyle Dance)
ZOE CRAMOND & Aric Yudekin: 23 (Jive) + 27 (Cha Cha face off)

The final was also a significant event for host Dan MacPherson, notching up 50 episodes as host. After controversy at the start of the series with Mel B replacing Sonia Kruger (who had defected to Ch9), the series continued strongly with the former Spice Girl holding her own as co-host. If the series continues in 2013 the English performer would do well to read the network briefing notes on the stars that compete so as to at least be aware of who they are and their work to date so as to connect with the contestants a little better.

The 2012 was the a mostly controversy-free series given the events of the past few years. The inclusion of Kerri-Anne Kennerley was a masterstroke to draw eyes and Fevola making it as far as he did suggested the way the public perceive him is finally changing. Danielle Spencer proved to be a hit with audiences, as did the surprise appearance of her husband Russell Crowe at the end of the semi-final episode a week ago. Though the ratings for most episodes were well above one million viewers, DWTS didn’t win one night for Ch7 this entire series. Before embarking on a series in 2013 serious thought needs to be given to the entire cast, not just one or two “names”.