Last night Kellie Pickler performed in the Dancing With The Stars Season 16 finals. Each of the four finalists performed a "Judges' Choice" dance followed by a Cha Cha Relay round and finally the highly-anticipated "Super Sized Freestyle" round.
Kellie Pickler and her partner Derek Hough danced the quickstep for their Judges' Choice performance. When they previously performed the dance on Week 6, they had scored 29 out of 30 points, with Carrie Ann Inaba taking away one point for a lack of body contact. This time, however, Pickler and Hough earned rave remarks from all three judges, taking a perfect score of 30 for their Judges' Choice quickstep.
For the Cha Cha Relay, all four couples danced a group cha cha routine, and were then ranked by the judges from best to worst. Pickler finished second only to Zendaya in the Cha Cha Relay, and received four bonus judges' points in addition to her two individual dances which were scored on the traditional thirty-point scale.
For the Super Sized Freestyle round, couples had the options of having extra dancers join them and/or dressing up their routines with elaborate staging. While the other three finalists chose to exercise those options, Pickler and Hough opted to keep the routine simple and "all about the dancing" - a decision that paid off with high praise from the judges as well as another perfect score, with Carrie Ann Inaba being moved to tears by Pickler's emotional performance.
Pickler finished the night with a total of 64 out of 65 possible judges' points, trailing top scorer Zendaya by only one point. In what has been called one of the most competitive DWTS finales in the show's history, three of the four finalists received perfect scores in the make-or-break freestyle round, which has historically been crucial in determining the season's winner.
We think Kellie Pickler has a great shot at winning the competition. Only Jacoby Jones seems to be out of the running for winning the mirror ball trophy, and while Aly Raisman's highly acclaimed freestyle performance may increase her chances of victory, it appears the finale will still be a showdown between season-long front runners Kellie Pickler and Zendaya.
Each of the finalists will dance for one final round of judges' scores on tomorrow night's season finale, but last night marked their last chance to impress the show's viewers. The finale will also include a musical performance from Country Music legend Wynonna Judd, who also appeared as a contestant on this season.
Tune into the two-hour Dancing With The Stars finale event tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/ 8:00 Central on ABC to see if KelliePickler gets to take home the coveted mirror ball trophy.