Ray Tamarra/Everett Collection; Barry King/WireImage
05/28/2010 at 01:00 AM EDT
Was Nicole Scherzinger
too good to win Dancing with the Stars
That's what some folks – including her fellow contestant Niecy Nash
– think of the singer, who was named champion of season 10
on Tuesday's finale
, taking home the coveted mirror ball trophy.
"I like to see the growth," Nash tells PEOPLE. "Nicole today is who she was when she got here – she was a great dancer and she still is."
Scherzinger, who beat out Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek
and ESPN correspondent Erin Andrews
, has been called a shoe-in. Many fans, including Nash, feel the show lost sight of its original premise of taking celebrities out of their comfort zone and onto the ballroom floor. Throughout the season, Scherzinger was often praised by judges Len Goodman
, Bruno Tonioli
and Carrie Ann Inaba
for being in a league of her own.
"There were moments you couldn't tell her from the pro dancers," Nash says.
But is that really such a bad thing? It is, after all, a dance competition. Nash thinks so: "Dancing With the Stars
is something that resonates with me when the contestants have a journey. I was such a big fan of Kelly Osbourne
last year because she had the most transformation
," she says. "I cheer for the who have evolved. To me, that's what the competition should be."
pro Edyta Sliwinska
"Nicole was the best dancer from day one," Sliwinska says. "She was obviously on a different level than everyone else, but her choreography was more difficult, too. She absolutely deserved to win." –Monica Rizzo