Kellie Pickler traded in her red high heels for dancing shoes on season 16 of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, eventually winning the Mirror Ball trophy with professional partner Derek Hough. Kellie and Derek dazzled the judges and won over audiences week after week with routines ranging from spunky to sentimental. One highlight: the week Kellie danced to her wedding song, which was written and performed by her husband, Kyle Jacobs, who also performed the song live on the show during her routine.
Competing on Dancing With The Stars brought Kellie full circle. Her career was launched with the help of another reality show, American Idol. Before the DWTS finale, 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 wasn’t the only country star making reality TV waves. Blake Shelton‘s team continued to dominate The Voice, winning for the third season straight when Danielle Bradbery was crowned winner of Season four in June. He previously won season three with Cassadee Pope and season two with Jermaine Paul. He returned to the coach’s seat for season five.
Continuing country music’s success on reality shows in 2013, Trace Adkins took home the title of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice in May. His final challenge was to create a flavor of ice cream for Walgreen’s, film a commercial promoting it and host an ice cream social. During the run of the show, Trace raised $564,000 for his charity, the American Red Cross.
Keith Urban also took on reality TV, serving as a judge on American Idol alongside Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.