Brooke Burke takes home mirror-ball trophy

LOS ANGELES After several injuries, a couple of surgeries and a cyclone named Cloris, season seven of "Dancing With the Stars" came down to a battle of the sexes. And a television host and model ended up tackling the football star to get that trophy.

The season's frontrunners, Brooke Burke and Derek Hough, took the title after a tough season of competition. It was emotional for her entire family, including the man in her life, David Charvet.

"I'm not sure if he was crying because it's over and I get to go back home now, or because he experienced everything with me," said Brooke. "Derek and I have been through so much in the past three months, physically, emotionally, mentally. It's been an intense journey on every level."

"When we found out we won, couldn't believe it. Great to say my sister won, my best friend won, it's cool, complete the package," said Derek.

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson took second place.

Warren explained that he never let his guard down on the field, but on the dance floor, he found his vulnerable side ... and he was OK with that.

"First night I stepped on this floor, I looked at her and said, 'Baby, I have a bad feeling.' I normally don't say these type of things. I said, 'What if I trip coming down these steps?' She said, 'It's going to be good TV.' And from that point on, I was good," explained Warren.

And it was all good for third-place finishers Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer.

"Oh, how could you be disappointed? We made it to the finals. We've had a rough season, didn't expect to be here," said Lance. "Every time we got a little bit further, just happy."

Lance and Lacey say the right couple won.

"Absolutely," they both said. "She's been the sweetest person. She definitely deserved this."

"You know, Brooke's been consistent the whole way through. Great to begin with, awesome at the end," said former contestant Misty May-Treanor.

"I thought they were so evenly matched. Both had different strengths, but I am glad a woman won again," said Tony Dovolani.

"Any one of those three, I would have said, 'OK, that's fair.' But I thought Brooke deserved it with her consistency. I really did," said season seven former competitor Ted McGinley.

And America agreed.

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