The actress made her name in the 1987 classic Dirty Dancing, opposite Patrick Swayze, and she donned her dance shoes once again for the celebrity showdown after years away from the spotlight.
She saw off competition from actor Kyle Massey and politician Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol during the show's finale on Tuesday night (23Nov10).
Palin came third in the competition after gaining the least amount of votes, leaving Grey and her dance partner Derek Hough to battle it out with Massey for the title.
Grey scored a perfect 30 for her Viennese Waltz and a 28 for her Cha Cha - her final dances on Tuesday's show.
After winning, the star revealed she nearly pulled out of the finale after rupturing a disc in her spine on Monday night (22Nov10), prompting a brief hospital visit. Grey has been plagued with injuries throughout the competition after undergoing a string of spinal surgeries to repair torn ligaments in her neck.
With her actress pal Jamie Lee Curtis and Cabaret star dad Joel Grey looking on from the studio audience, she admitted, "I didn't think I was going to compete tonight and I'm really glad I did."
Other celebrities who took part in the 11th season of the show included David Hasselhoff, Michael Bolton, R&B singer Brandy, veteran actress Florence Henderson, Jersey Shore star Mike Sorrentino and Vanessa Williams' ex-husband Rick Fox, Audrina Patridge, comedienne Margaret Cho and retired football star Kurt Warner.
The star will be hosting a family screening of the new film on Thursday (25Nov10) and she only hopes her family can stomach it.
She tells WENN, "I'm literally wearing a bra and underwear in some scenes and I'm worried my dad might freak out. He is very Mormon.
"He's got four girls, so, if he's not aware of a bra, I think something is wrong. But every Thanksgiving our tradition is to see movies so they'll be seeing Burlesque then! I'll be like, 'Make sure you digest that food before you go!'"
Dancer/actress JULIANNE HOUGH passed the roller mills where the original FOOTLOOSE was shot every day when she was growing up. Now she's starring in the movie musical remake, which hit cinemas four years before she was born.
Grey broke down during rehearsals for Dancing with the Stars on Monday night (20Sep10) when the emotion of what she was doing hit her - and the footage aired on the season debut.
The actress danced to Dirty Dancing tune These Arms of Mine with professional Derek Hough - and confessed the experience reminded her of dancing with Swayze in the movie. But she shone on the dancefloor, and wowed Swayze's widow.
Niemi tells Access Hollywood Live, "What they showed of Jennifer in rehearsals... I was not quite expecting so much connection to Patrick during the rehearsals and of course it makes total sense. It was a little tough.
"But I thought that dancing to These Arms of Mine... first of all I think that she did every bit as good a job as I thought she would and then some. Jennifer is a natural talent and she brought this kind of special sensuality... I was super thrilled."
The Dirty Dancing actress made her debut on the reality TV show on Monday night (20Sep10), performing a Viennese waltz to Otis Redding's These Arms of Mine, which appeared on the film's soundtrack.
But when Grey, who played Frances 'Baby' Houseman opposite Swayze in the 1987 movie, first heard the track in rehearsals she broke down because it made her miss her co-star.
In pre-recorded footage, Grey is seen crying and telling her professional dance partner, Derek Hough, "It took me back in a time capsule, and I was with Patrick. I just missed him. He was like you, young and gorgeous."
But the star triumphed in the live show - picking up the highest scores from the judges on the night.
After her dance, panellist Bruno Tonioli said, "Baby is back where she belongs. I know somebody up there is going to be very proud of you."
Speaking on the eve of the first anniversary of Swayze's death (13Sep10), actress Grey admits she'd be honoured if Lisa Niemi would agree to cheer her on from the studio audience.
She tells news show Access Hollywood, "I would be so grateful if she did, and if she didn’t, I feel her support. She emailed me. She just said that she is rooting for me and proud of me."
And Grey is sure Swayze, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on 14 September, 2009, will be with her in spirit when she steps out on the dancefloor next week (beg20Sep10) with new partner Derek Hough.
She adds, "Patrick was one of the most fearless people I’ve ever met. He really embraced life and was all about going for it."
The actress, who is a cancer survivor herself, insists it's time for her to stop living in the shadows: "I have been living my life very differently (to the way Patrick lived his), and right now, especially since his passing, and my surgeries and having had cancer myself, and turning 50, and seeing so many of my friends with cancer who are my age... it’s given me a sense of, 'If not now, when? When are you supposed to reclaim the joy that you had as a young person.'"
Hough fell victim to the Hollywood rumour mill during his high-profile romance with Elizabeth and then again when he began stepping out with Cole soon after her split from soccer star Ashley Cole.
Gossips suggested the relationships were staged and that Hough is really gay.
But Scherzinger, who waltzed all the way to the season ten title of Dancing with the Stars champion, insists her quick-footed friend is only interested in girls.
She says, "He likes the ladies. He went out with Shannon Elizabeth."
The actors, who played a married couple in the 2001 drama Dinner With Friends, will portray the Reverend Shaw Moore and his wife Vi in the remake of the 1984 hit.
John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest played the characters in the original film.
MacDowell also joins Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough, who are set to star in the movie.
Former dancer Kenny Wormald was confirmed as the new lead earlier this week (beg21Jun10), replacing Chace Crawford, and Julianne Hough will play his love interest, Ariel, who happens to be the daughter of Quaid's religious character.
The original 1984 film starred Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer and Chris Penn.