"This is amazing!" Kellie said, thrilled and hardly able to speak
On Tuesday, Dancing with the Stars named its season 16 champions.
At the end of Monday night‘s episode, Zendaya and an injured Val Chmerkovskiy received perfect 30s for both of their full-length routines, and then tacked on an additional five points to their score for winning the cha cha relay.
But only one point below the highest scoring pair were Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, who earned perfect 30s for their routines, which included a dramatic freestyle number that had viewers in tears. They came in second place during the cha cha relay, and scored four extra points.
Below them were Alexandra Raisman and partner Mark Ballas, followed by Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff.
And the winners are Kellie and Derek!
“This is amazing!” Kellie said, thrilled and hardly able to speak – though she was squealing with delight.
Zendaya and Val came in second; Jacoby and Karina, third.
“I’m very proud. I’m very happy,” Zendaya said. “I get to leave here with an amazing experience, so I’m happy.”
“Out of all my trainers that I’ve had, I’ve never had a woman push me like she did,” Jacoby said of Karina when he was told he’d landed in third place.
In the first moments of Tuesday’s show, Alexandra and Mark were eliminated in fourth place. “Good luck to you three. I love you guys so much,” she told Kellie, Zendaya and Jacoby.
The rest of the couples went on to perform their instant dance – and all the couples received perfect scores, which meant that the leaderboard did not change, giving Zendaya a one-point lead over Kellie going into the final results.