It wasn’t just us, America, or the Las Vegas oddsmakers who thought Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough were way ahead of the pack on Season 10, dubbed by many as the best season of ‘Dancing with the Stars‘ yet.
Runner up Evan Lysacek and third place finisher Erin Andrews thought Nicole Scherzinger would win it all too. And they’re okay with that.
There is some controversy, however, considering Nicole Scherzinger is a member of the all-girl group The Pussycat Dolls, who sing and dance professionally for a living. Did the others, some of whom had never danced in their lives, even have a shot? Did she deserve to win? Did she deserve to even be cast on the show?
“Derek and Nicole were in a league of their own from the start,” Evan told us after the show, “but the rest of us have been bound like a family and that’s, truly, I think unique. Everyone has said that [we’re] the closest cast they ever had.”
Erin echoed the sentiment: “I think starting week one when saw [Nicole and Derek] in practice choreograph all 10 routines in one practice, we basically knew that this moment was going to happen tonight. We’re very proud of them. They put in a lot of work; she’s amazing.” The ESPN reporter did say, though, that she was “screaming and cheering” for Evan.
But costar Neicy Nash disagrees. “I like to see the growth,” Nash tells PEOPLE. “Nicole today is who she was when she got here — she was a great dancer and she still is.”
“There were moments you couldn’t tell her from the pro dancers,” Nash adds.
Both finalists were over the moon over making it to the finals anyway. “We’re so satisfied,” said Evan. “We didn’t leave anything on the table. When you work and you exhaust every possibility, in any walk of life, you’re satisfied with that, whether you win or lose. To go out for our last dance and have our whole cast down here, yelling inside jokes and cheers of us, that’s the tone of this competition this season, the family that we formed all of us together.”
“It’s been an incredible season for everyone,” added Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Our thoughts exactly.