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Wednesday
May222013

"Dancing with the Stars" Finale: Kellie Pickler Wins Mirror Ball Trophy

ABC/Adam Taylor(LOS ANGELES) -- Country singer Kellie Pickler and pro partner Derek Hough were crowned the winners of the 16th season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Tuesday night.  Disney star Zendaya and partner Val Chmerkovskiy finished in second place.

Pickler, who had been a fan favorite during ten weeks of competition, reacted to the announcement by declaring, “Oh my God. This is amazing. Oh my God.”

Zendaya said after the vote that she was very proud of what she accomplished. “I’m very proud. I'm very happy and I get to leave here with an amazing experience, so I'm very happy.”

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones and partner Karina Smirnoff finished in third place.  Jones made a lighthearted comment about Smirnoff’s tough practice regimen. “Out of all my trainings that I've had, I've never had a woman push me like she did," he said.

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and partner Mark Ballas were eliminated in the first hour of Tuesday’s season finale results show, ending the competition in fourth place.

Raisman told the audience, “This has been the best experience of my life. Thank you, Dancing with the Stars. It's been so amazing.”

Pickler, Zendaya and Jones and their respective partners had to compete in one final “instant dance” routine Tuesday before the winner was declared.  Those scores were added to the judges' scores for both nights.

Instant Dance Routines:


Jacoby Jones: The NFL star’s salsa earned uniform praise from judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Goodman told Jones he had a “naturalness” about his dance, and was full of fun and vitality. Tonioli said Jones had charisma and showmanship, adding, "I could watch you anytime." Inaba told Jones, “You are a champion. That was the dance of a champion.”  Jones earned a perfect score of 30 points, giving him a two-night judges' total of 86 out of 100 points.

Kellie Pickler: Tonioli told the country singer her jive had accuracy, precision and technique, and compared her to Julianne Hough, a former DWTS pro who is now a recording artist and actress. Inaba told Pickler that she and her partner, Derek Hough, were "like a bright ray of sunshine." Goodman offered one of his trademark quips: "You're always clean, you're precise, you're sharp, your dancing is always polished. I'm telling you, Kellie, you're the bee's knees, my mama's pajamas, my uncle's carbuncles. You're awesome.” Pickler earned 30 points, giving her a two-night judges' total of 94 points.

Zendaya: The Disney star's jive won rave reviews from the judges. Inaba told her she made every dance special, and Goodman added that, for a 16-year-old, she danced with precision and maturity and always turned in a performance, rather than just a routine. Added Tonioli: “For somebody so young you have pitch-perfect performer instinct.” Zendaya earned 30 points, for a two-night judges' total of 95 points.

When all the points were tabulated, Pickler was the star with the highest combined tally of judges' scores and viewers' votes.

Of the four finalists, Zendaya was considered the most technically accomplished, and was the early standout. She was the youngest competitor in the show's history, and her performances consistently put her at or near the top of the leader board. She earned the first perfect score of the season.

Pickler was perhaps the most surprising contestant of the pack. She seemed to get better week after week, and she, too, was consistently at or near the top of the leader board during the competition. Her moving contemporary freestyle routine Monday night brought Inaba to tears and earned her a rare standing ovation from Goodman. The judges requested that routine as Tuesday’s encore performance.

Jones' flair and showmanship gave him staying power even when his routines were less than perfect.  He improved during the course of the season, making up for technical flaws with energetic, crowd-pleasing performances.

Raisman turned in physically demanding routines that capitalized on her gymnastic skills, but the judges also said she'd shown remarkable development of her dance abilities.

Tuesday’s finale also included musical performances by Pitbull, PSY and Wynonna, who was eliminated from the show earlier this season.

There were also dance performances from the rest of the season 16 cast.  General Hospital star Ingo Rademacher was voted off the show last week. He was preceded by “Bachelor” Sean Lowe, comedian Andy Dick, boxer Victor Ortiz, comedian D.L. Hughley, Wynonna and reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump.  An injury forced figure skating legend Dorothy Hamill to withdraw from the competition in the second week.

Dancing with the Stars returns to ABC in the fall as a one-night event.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio