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'Skating with the Stars' crowns Rebecca Budig, Fred Palascak champs


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/22/2010 

Skating with the Stars crowned actress Rebecca Budig and professional partner Fred Palascak its first-season champions during Tuesday night's live finale broadcast on ABC.

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"I'm shocked, really I am! [Bethenny Frankel] and I were talking about it. I don't know, I'm just shocked! I owe all of this to Fred, who is an unbelievable teacher. I've said it 100 times but truthfully, I owe it all to you," Budig told her partner after their win.

Budig and Palascak won the skating competition based on the combination of the Skating with the Stars judges' scores they received during Tuesday night's show and the votes home viewers cast following Monday night's penultimate broadcast. 

Budig -- the ex-wife of fourth-season The Bachelor star Bob Guiney -- and Palascak defeated The Real Housewives of New York City and Bethenny's Getting Married? star Frankel and partner Ethan Burgess during last night's Skating with the Stars finale broadcast.

"It's just one of those things where you take on something. I did take on too much, but when you do that, you push harder and go through it, and you will get what you want. You will get there in the end. And it was really, a very challenging and very rewarding experience, and Rebecca totally deserves it. She should be a real ice skater," Bethenny said.

"This guy, he is the most incredible teacher, person, friend -- I couldn't have done it without him."

Budig and Palascak had finished in first place on Tuesday night's judging leaderboard. The pair received the season's first perfect score of 60 out of 60 possible points from Skating with the Stars judges Johnny Weir, Laurieann Gibson and Dick Button.

"Rebecca, Rebecca, I have always asked you to take a risk. Tonight, on that, you took a risk! You were electrifying! Just electrifying! Tonight you embraced wanting to be a champion. Your lines have always been so balletic, so pure -- your center's so strong -- wonderful job. Congratulations! You are a world class skater!" Gibson raved following Budig and Palascak's performance. 

"It doesn't get any better than that, does it?" Skating with the Stars co-host Tanith Belbin asked Budig after the pair received their scores from the judges.

"I'm amazed. I'm shocked! I'm flattered, thank you," Budig replied.

Tuesday night's broadcast featured Skating with the Stars previously eliminated pairs returning to the ice one more time for an encore of their best performances. The two finalist skating pairs were then required to re-skate a performance from earlier in the season, with the chance to impress the judges with their improvement.

The re-skate routine was eligible to receive up to 60 possible points from the judges -- 30 points for technical merit and an additional 30 points for artistic impression.

Budig and Palascak earned 30 points for their technique and an additional perfect score of 30 for their artistry, while Frankel and Burgess received a total of 51 points -- earning 23 points for their technical score and an additional 28 points for their artistic performance.

Budig and Guiney wed in July 2004, however she filed for divorce in April and their split was reportedly finalized in July.

(Photo credit ABC)


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