Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond pulled off a “Dancing With the Stars” upset late today, winning the ninth season of ABC’s ballroom dance competition with help from his fans and his own innate showmanship.
Osmond, who turns 52 on Dec. 9, trailed 30-year-old pop singer Mya on technical points for most of the competition. But he and dance partner Kym Johnson nearly closed the gap with judges before the finale, then edged ahead today with an encore of their Argentine tango routine from earlier in the season.
“It’s been three months of mind over matter basically,” Osmond said by telephone earlier in the day from his Los Angeles dressing room.
Since “Dancing” debuted on Sept. 21, Osmond has been commuting from the TV competition Mondays and Tuesdays to his live show with sister Marie Wednesdays through Saturdays. And he planned to be back on the Flamingo stage Wednesday night.
“That’s just been the challenge of it all. To do both at the same time is double the work,” he said.
Johnson would “work me to death all day, blood, sweat and tears in the studio, then I get a couple hours break and do a show at the Flamingo.
“The workload is ridiculous, but the timing of it was great. You just bite the bullet and get it done.”
Osmond is the first Las Vegas headliner to win “Dancing” while having a show on the Strip.
Sister Marie bested Wayne Newton and others to place third on the show’s fifth edition in 2007. First-season winner Kelly Monaco later headlined “Peepshow,” as did later contestants Mel B. and Holly Madison. Monaco’s runner-up, John O’Hurley, later starred in “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”
“You always aim for the goal, and the goal is to finish,” Osmond said before the final broadcast. “You think that goal is too far off and unreachable. And then you take it one step at a time and get closer and closer, and it gets a little bit more of a reality, (until) you can grab it.”
Osmond had been working out with personal trainer Adam “Hamster” Gentz since March, when he first signed on for “Dancing.”
“He’s the one who really got me in shape,” Osmond said.
Donny, who goes home to Utah on non-show days, and Marie, who now lives in the Las Vegas area, are booked through at least 2012 at the Flamingo.
Donny Osmond said the network TV exposure has led to some “amazing opportunities” along with the live show.
Already in the works is a syndicated radio show, “8-Track Playback,” which starts early next year.
Osmond outfitted his Flamingo dressing room with a vocal booth while working on an upcoming album with Marie.
“That’s where I’m going to be doing my radio show, right from the Flamingo,” he said.
When the Osmonds opened in September 2008, it was Marie who was hot from the fifth season of “Dancing,” leading to a “dance-off” between the two each night. It’s still a popular part of the show, with fans often holding up their own pingpong paddle score cards.
Back then, Marie was fresh from competition and seemed to have the upper hand, leaving him winded. Has that changed?
“I’m winded still. Marie just makes fun of the fact of how much I sweat onstage,” Donny Osmond said. The jokes are “still in there because I’m still sweating my guts out onstage.”
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0288.