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Len Goodman: The right person 'probably' won 'Dancing with the Stars'


By Christopher Rocchio, 06/04/2007 

Dancing with the Stars' judge Len Goodman apparently thinks fans got it right in helping to crown two-time Olympic gold medalist speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno the show's fourth-season celebrity champ over former N Sync singer Joey Fatone.

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"I probably would have [picked Ohno over Fatone in a fan vote], yes," Goodman told People Sunday.  "I know some weeks during the course of the performances I was perhaps a little bit harsh on Apolo, but only because my expectations were so high because I thought he was such a talented dancer. I guess overall I think the right person won."

A former professional dancer himself, Goodman has served as head judge on ABC's Dancing with the Stars since the show first premiered in June 2005, and thinks the recently concluded fourth season was the best yet.

"I was overwhelmed by the standard we reached," he told People.  "The finale, I thought, was the best finale we had in the four seasons."

When Goodman's not dishing out criticism and perfect scores to couples competing on Dancing with the Stars, he's doing the same on the U.K.'s Strictly Come Dancing, where he also serves as head judge.  So how do celebrity two-steppers from the States shape-up against those from across the Atlantic?

"Everyone can dance to a degree," Goodman told People.  "You find the odd celebrity that is just a naturally gifted and talented person, whereas others, you find, will struggle. I think you've had the worst dancer probably but you've also had one or two of the best, and if it came to a head to head between America and Great Britain, I think probably the Americans would edge it."

Goodman characterized Ohno as "right up there as one of the best ever," and added Fatone was right there with the skater during Dancing with the Stars' fourth season.  In addition, Goodman described Dancing with the Stars' second-season champ Drew Lachey as a "great dancer," and called first season runner-up John O'Hurley "a terrific ballroom dancer." 

Goodman has something in common with O'Hurley, as both are selling their own instructional dance videos.  Goodman's is called Dance with Len Goodman and is currently in stores, while O'Hurley's is titled Learn to Dance with John and Charlotte and features his professional partner Charlotte Jorgensen.

"[Dance with Len Goodman is] purely for people that can't dance," Goodman told People.  "One of the hardest things to do is to take that first step into a dance studio. This really is just to get people to learn the basic steps and have a bit of fun indoors, and if they enjoy it then to go to a local dance school. It's like an hors d'oeuvre really, it's like a prawn cocktail."

(Photo credit ABC)


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