"I'm going to give it to my mom because she's the reason I really did this show," the Pussycat Doll, 31, told Us after the show. "This is for her!"
Despite being a frontrunner (her final dance, the jive, earned her a perfect score of 30), she still didn't think she'd win.
"It made me more nervous because people were like, 'Oh yeah, you're a shoo-in!'" she told Us. "I said, 'No, don't say that! Don't jinx us!'"
But she said she was touched when head judge Len Goodman told her, "There can only be one winner of 'Dancing With the Stars.' It should be you."
Said Scherzinger, "I started to cry right there. For Len to say that? I cried. I may as well have won then whether I got the trophy or not."
Her post-DWTS plans?
She said she and partner Derek Hough are headed to the Big Apple.
Added Scherzinger, "We're going to eat some red velvet cake and some brownies!"