Well, the 10-week competition has come to a close, and the Indianapolis 500 race-car driver with a smile even brighter than that yellow outfit he likes to wear came out the winner.
I think it's worth pointing out that I did write that it was Helio's "show to lose" in my Oct. 3 column. Sure, I've declared any number of them potential winners since then, but I have to say that Helio played it masterfully by making that strong mark early on, laying low for a while in the middle and then turning up the volume to 11 in the end.
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It didn't hurt that as the weeks passed, he came across as more and more adorable. Whether he was picking up his partner, Juliana, throwing his arms around a fellow competitor or jumping up and down and exclaiming, "I did it!" when he managed to do all his lifts, the guy managed to emanate thorough sweetness while always keeping his eye on the prize.
And "Dancing With the Stars" is one of those shows where attitude truly is everything. Helio, as a professional competitor, seemed to naturally understand that wanting desperately to win is only half the battle. When the other stars got overly focused on dominating, they either psyched themselves out, like Floyd, cried, like Jennie, or fainted — do I really need to ID that one anymore?
But Helio's win certainly wasn't the only interesting moment in the two-night "Dancing" finale. There also was Marie's misguided doll dance, which definitely qualified for Episode's (if not Season's) Creepiest Experience.
I know, she's inspiring and makes doll clothes and last week I said she'd win, but the over-the-top costume combined with those stiff doll-like movements conspired to potentially undo a lot of the respect and good will she'd garnered.
Still, the dance did inspire Bruno's funniest line of the season, when he appeared utterly dumbfounded and labeled it "Baby Jane and the Bride of Chucky."
There were many shots of the audience as well, where the Spice Girls cheered on their second-place girl, Mel (all except Posh, who looked either very depressed or like she didn't quite know how she'd found herself in the company of Ian Ziering and Lisa Rinna instead of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes).
We also got to see all of the previous contestants back on the dance floor and revisit the bloody knees, unfair eliminations and lifts that may or may not have happened. Oh, and we finally got to witness Cameron without his shirt.
But I'd have to say it was seeing Helio force back tears as he celebrated his win that was the show's most memorable moment, even if he was clutching an undeniably cheesy-looking mirrorball trophy as he did it.
Anna David is a freelance writer. Her novel, "Party Girl," is in stores now.