Derek Hough and Nicole Scherzinger sneak off during rehearsals for some private time together. Formula one ace and Nicole's "boyfriend" Lewis Hamilton is in Australia practicing for this weekend's Grand Prix. (Bauer Griffin)more pics »Nicole Scherzinger celebrates winning her mirror ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars. (From abc.com)
Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger and her partner, Derek Hough, were declared winners on the season finale of Dancing with the Stars Tuesday night. The two threw their arms around each other after a night that included a perfect score from all three judges for their rambunctious "jive" routine set to "Proud Mary."
Nicole said Wednesday that her experience on the show has changed her for the better.
"It’s not about the trophy," she told People. "It’s beyond the trophy. The experience and the challenge and everything you go through -- it’s a lot of life-changing experiences in three months and it’s just so intense.”
Nicole beat out fellow finalists Evan Lysacek and Erin Andrews in the show's final episode. It's a second win for Hough, who won a mirror ball trophy for his season seven work with the show's current host, Brooke Burke. On Tuesday night, Derek told Jimmy Kimmel that it was a challenge for he and Nicole to impress people because of Nicole's background in dance and performance.
"The expectations were high from the beginning... but we never took it for granted," he said. "We worked so hard and we just tried to exceed ourselves every week."
Dancing with the Stars - 2010
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In Photos: Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough