Professional dancer Derek Hough wasn’t even going to return to the ballroom for Season 16 of Dancing With the Stars. Now, he’s added a fourth mirror ball trophy to his collection. Derek and his celebrity partner, country singer Kellie Pickler, were crowned champions on Tuesday’s finale.
16-year-old Zendaya Coleman and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy placed second, in what many consider to be the best final two in the show’s history. Right at the beginning of the two hour finale, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and her partner Mark Ballas were eliminated in fourth place, with Superbowl Champion Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff finishing in third.
After Aly and Mark’s elimination, Kellie, Zendaya and Jacoby received music for their instant dance, which they had to put together in less than an hour to perform on the show. After an hour jam-packed with performances from Pitbull, Psy and this season’s eliminated dancers, the couples performed their final numbers. Unfortunately, this did nothing to shake up the leader board, considering all three celebs rightfully scored perfect 30’s. This left Zendaya at the top by one point ahead of Kellie, and Jacoby eight points short of the country singer.
To eat up some time, clips were shown of all three finalists throughout the season just before Jacoby’s third place elimination. After a commercial break, a super-shocked Kellie and Derek were declared the winners. This gives Derek FOUR mirror ball trophies, increasing his lead of the most wins on the show to two (Mark, Kym Johnson, Cheryl Burke and his sister Julianne Hough all have two trophies each).
Overall, a predictable season ended with a finale that could’ve easily gone either way. Congrats, Kellie!