“Dancing with the Stars” Season 16 has found its champions: Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough won the Mirror Ball trophy, narrowly beating out Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy.
How did Zendaya and Kellie come to face off in the last moments of Season 16? Aly and Mark were eliminated earlier in the night at fourth place. And then, shortly before the final results, Jacoby and Karina were named as the third place dancers for the season.
Going into the finale, the relevant scores were as follows:
1. Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy — 65 points (that would be a perfect score)
2. Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough — 64 points
3. Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas — 61 points
4. Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff — 56 points
The three couples remaining after Aly and Mark’s elimination had only limited time to adapt their choreography for the Instant Dance round. What styles did they all get?
- Jacoby and Karina: salsa
- Kellie and Derek: jive (not the Macarena)
- Zendaya and Val: jive
Two jives? Whatever works for them.
Jacoby and Karina went first with their salsa. The danced worked well with the music, even if it wasn’t too exciting for the first half. Jacoby tossing around Karina and almost losing his suspender (and almost killing Karina at the end) made the second half more interesting.
Scores: 10+10+10 = 30
Kellie and Derek were next with a jive. Again, this was an excellent dance but not as exciting as what we’re used to — especially when Derek does the choreography.
Scores: 10+10+10 = 30
Zendaya and Val had a jive too. Once the shock of Zendaya’s pink high-tops wore off, this was pretty great to watch. It definitely seemed like the best of three excellent instant dances.
Scores: 10+10+10 = 30
Thus, the final scores going into the final eliminations are:
- Zendaya and Val — 95 points
- Kellie and Derek — 94 points
- Jacoby and Karina — 86 points
And, as usual, the instant dances didn’t matter to the final results at all.
Filler Entertainment for the night
It doesn’t really take two hours for one round of dances and some announcements. So there were a bunch of other things to fill time throughout the night.
The show began with a big production number featuring all of Season 16 stars along with the troupe.
Then there was the encore dance. Fans voted for what they wanted to see via Twitter, and the winning couple was Kellie and Derek. Their freestyle was just as beautiful the second time around.
Next up for our waiting-for-results entertainment, we got a girl-power dance featuring the female pros and the three girl finalists — Aly, Zendaya and Kellie. The dance came after Aly and Mark were eliminated, of course. But the performance was almost definitely pre-taped, so there wasn’t much that “Dancing with the Stars” could do about it.
Psy was the first big non-“DWTS” performance for the night. He, a bunch of dancers and many lasers performed the Korean singer’s latest, “Gentleman.” You have almost definitely already seen this on the Internet.
A little later on, Pitbull performed. There were a lot of white costumes involved in this one.
Right at the end, they brought on Jessica Sanchez to sing while the final three couples waited to find out who had won. You’ve got to do something to fill 10 or so minutes.
Sadly, there wasn’t even a hint of what is usually the best part of the “DWTS” finale — Dance Center. Couldn’t they get Kenny Mayne? Is Len tired of the joke?
Wynonna Judd came back to perform “I Wanna Know What Love Is.” That’s a great way to get out of dancing and to actually shine at something. Because she’s more than a little amazing when it comes to her singing.
Lisa Vanderpump did actually dance, returning with Gleb Savchenko for a foxtrot. This also made for an excellent chance for more Lisa-Len flirting.
Dorothy Hamill — the figure skater who had to bow out in the second week — got to dance. Her former partner, Tristan MacManus, on the other hand, was on the injury list. They let her dance with another of the pros, Henry, for her Viennese waltz. In an added bit of coolness, Kristy Yamaguchi and a pro joined the couple on the dance floor as a sort of mirror image.
Since Dorothy had named Kristy as her inspiration for dancing in the first place, this was super cool.
Andy Dick came back for a long intro, followed by his Wonderland-esque jazz dance with Sharna Burgess. Still not enough to win but a fun one.
And that’s it for “Dancing with the Stars” Season 16. Did the right couple win? Who would you have picked?