America's favorite Mormon did it last night -- he topped Mya in the final dance, pushing him to the top of the leader board, then the audience votes sealed the deal. It felt both surprising and inevitable after the momentum building this past week. What didn't surprise me was how much I teared up about Kelly: she seemed to know that realistically it wasn't likely she would win, but there seemed to be a tiny bit of hope in her face, perhaps for a second-place finish. In the end, it didn't really matter her ranking, everyone was on their feet, declaring love, and even Carrie Ann got choked up talking about the magic of her dancing. Yes, I cried, too. It's been a long 10 weeks! That might also explain why I got misty-eyed when Whitney Houston ran over to hug Dionne Warwick after performing her new single. Whitney's hair needed to be pushed out of her face, and for someone who wants to dance with somebody, her hips didn't move much, but she looked relatively healthy, her voice sounded good, and she seemed pretty pleased with herself for making it all happen.
I am in no way a longtime Donny Osmond fan, but watching him this season has opened my heart to the entertainer, who really does seem to be that flamboyant and fun and willing to put it all out there without shame. While it could be disappointing to see the wholesome poster boy of clean living take the prize, I'm instead hoping he will be a model for all Mormons in this country: stop scaring people into voting for homophobic and unconstitutional propositions and start putting on spray tan, makeup, and sequins and learn how to dance it out.
--A. RAYMOND JOHNSON
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