The ice was nice to Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler in more ways than one.
The underdog twosome glided to victory Thursday night, beating out apparent favorites Jillian Barberie and John Zimmerman to take the Skating with Celebrities crown.
Swanson and Eisler's win was virtually guaranteed after Barberie took a tumble while attempting to land an axel that she claimed to have nailed numerous times in practice.
But as Sasha Cohen could have told the Good Day L.A. host, landing a jump in practice means nothing--it's landing it in competition that counts.
After Barberie's bumble, Swanson and Eisler took the ice and skated comparatively well to "Super Freak," ending their routine with Eisler dramatically lifting Swanson into the air with one arm.
The final tallies were extremely close, with Barberie and Zimmerman putting up technical scores of 9.8, 9.8 and 9.7 and artistic scores of 9.9, 9.8 and 9.8 against Swanson and Eisler's technical scores of 9.8, 9.9 and 9.8 and artistic scores of 9.8, 9.9 and 9.8. But when all those decimals were added up, Swanson and Eisler's combined total of 117.7 points secured them the Skating trophy.
Over the course of the seven-episode series, the duo didn't always appear on track to victory.
In the series premiere, which featured routines set to music from the movies, Swanson and Eisler wound up in last place after judges John Nicks, Mark Lund and Dorothy Hamill awarded them the lowest marks for artistic merit.
Even so, the couple managed to outlast pair after pair: Todd Bridges and Jenni Meno; Deborah Gibson and Kurt Browning; Dave Coulier and Nancy Kerrigan; Bruce Jenner and Tai Babilonia; and finally Barberie and Zimmerman.
Swanson and Eisler skated away from the Fox competition with more than the championship title. After logging long hours on the ice together while filming the series, the duo heated things up with an off-rink romance.
"We're very happy," Swanson said in a recent interview.
However, not everyone is happy for the couple, least of all Eisler's estranged wife, who was four months pregnant at the time her husband began canoodling with the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer star.
"I was shocked, upset and betrayed," Marcie Eisler told Star magazine about learning of the dalliance. "I should have trusted my instincts."
Though the Eislers are separated, Marcie Eisler claims they were still "working on their relationship" when her husband became involved with Swanson, a contention he denies.
"They met and spent time together as ice skating partners when they taped for Fox?s Skating With Celebrities," Eisler's publicist said in a statement last month. "They started dating after Lloyd officially separated from his wife and they are very happy."
The network that brought them together is also happy. Skating with Celebrities racked up consistently strong ratings for Fox, with the finale attracting 14.1 million viewers, finishing second for the night behind CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Based on that silver medal finish, Fox may already be plotting Skating with Celebrities 2. Paging Tonya Harding...