After wowing the judges and charming viewers all season long, Kellie Pickler and her professional dance partner, Derek Hough, were crowned champions of season 16 of Dancing With The Stars. The pair ended Monday night’s competition in second place behind Zendaya and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy, notching perfect scores on their routines, then coming in second place during the cha cha relay which earned them four extra points.
Following earning another perfect score for their Tuesday night routine, Kellie was clearly surprised to hear her and Derek’s names called as the winners of the Mirror Ball Trophy. “This is amazing!” she managed to say through squeals of excitement and a flurry of celebration.
Competing on Dancing With The Stars brought Kellie full circle. Her career was launched with the help of another reality show, American Idol. Before Monday night’s show, Kellie took to her Facebook page to reflect on her journey, both to stardom and on the dance floor.
“Backstage sitting in my trailer with Aly getting ready for the big show tonight,” she wrote. “She and I just watched my American Idol audition. I can’t help but tear up when I see myself at “19 & green” walking into that Idol audition and singing in front of Paula, Randy, and Simon….I was terrified. Absolutely terrified. It’s crazy how much time has passed and how much my life has changed since Idol. However I still have those moments where I feel like that little girl venturing off into the world, that “Alice in Wonderland” feeling.
“DWTS has been an unbelievable journey and a wonderful learning experience,” she continued. “Not only has Derek taught me to dance but he’s also taught me something more important, that it’s ok to trust. Growing up the way I did I’ve always had trust issues, the only person I could completely count on was myself. In dancing, it is so important that you trust your partner. You never know what’s gonna happen when you get out there on that dance floor…so you have to trust one another and be confident that you and your partner will take care of one another.”
Kellie, Derek and the rest of the season 16 cast will visit Good Morning America Wednesday morning.