Dancing With the Stars finale: In the End, Simplicity Wins the Mirror Ball

Kellie Pickler finale 2 - Dancing With The StarsSo, after weeks of dancing, tears, eliminations, and Depends for Len, we have finally come to the final week of Dancing With the Stars Season 16. Only one more week of Bruno’s nonsense comments. One more week of Brooke Burke Charvey’s (that’s French for “Charvey”) weird questions backstage. One more week of Tom Bergeron’s witty comebacks and banter. One more week of Carrie Ann and her sexual remarks. And one more week of the cheesy theme-music that begins everyone’s favorite show: Hit it, Harold Wheeler!!! Sing it, everyone! “Doot doot doot doot doot doot doot, doo doo doo doo doo . . .”

In this last week, 4 couples remained, and each had to perform in 3 Rounds of dances. The first round was Judges’ Choice, which was a style of dance chosen by the judges (duh!), and each couple had one of the judges coaching them and helping them along the way during rehearsals. Round Two was a Cha-Cha Rally, in which all the couples danced 40-seconds of the chacha, one after another, in a pre-chosen order. The judges then scored the couples, with First Place (Zendaya) receiving 5 points, and Fourth Place (Jacoby) receiving 2 points. Round Three, was, of course, the part of the season that most of us wait for and get very excited about – the Supersize Freestyle! In the Freestyle Dance, pairs can literally do whatever they want. Choreography, production value, music – all of it is up to them. Often times, it is the freestyle dance that decides who ends up winning the competition, and this year was no different. Although all the Freestyle Dances were pretty awesome, one stood out over the rest, for its simplicity and focus. Let’s break down the highlights of each couple’s last routines:

Jacoby / Karina: In Round One, judges chose the Jive, and Len was their dancing coach, with Jacoby hilariously dubbing him as “my lightskinned grandfather.” Their Jive was a total blast, and showed huge improvemnt in footwork and movement from Jacoby. Scores were 9/9/9, and when Brooke asked backstage, “What will it take for you to beat Kellie, Aly, and Zendaya?” Jacoby replied, “The grace of God!” Bergeron shot back “I’m sure that God is happy to know that he or she can now vote on Facebook.”

In Round Two, the pair used their freestyle dance to express their love for New Orleans, Jacoby’s homestate. Their dance was like a big ole party on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. It had drummers, little kids, elaborate costumes, lifts, tapping, and all kinds of high-energy. I loved the whole thing, but my favorite section was when they paired Jacoby with the little girl and Karina with the little boy, and the four of them danced side by side doing supercute dancemoves. Len called it a “full-on attack of energy! Wonderful!” Carrie Ann had to ruin the party by being nitpicky, saying the dance production “took over” and that Jacoby got lost inside of it. I disagree, and I thought their dance deserved a couple of tens. Scores were 9/9/9.

Aly / Mark: Judges chose the Samba, and the crazy but lovable Bruno was the mentor. Aly looked hot and sexy in her gold and shimmery short dress, and their Samba to a Shakira song was sultry, sexy, and pretty amazing! She has so much personality now and definitely has shown the most improvement throughout the whole season I think. Bruno called her a “scrumptious little tease!” and Len said it was “terrific!” After all their praise, scores were 9/9/10. I think it should have been all tens.

Aly Mark - Dancing With The Stars finaleRound Two showed off a Freestyle that demonstrated Aly’s strengths as a gymnast, and her physical strength in general. It was a futuristic dance featuring neon lights, costumes, and two 20-foot pole apparatuses that looked like stripper poles. Aly and Mark climbed them and did some pretty impressive tricks on them that were quite risky and something you’d see a pro-dancer doing. I thought she was amazing. horny Carrie Ann brought up the fact that “back in the day, I worked a pole while on tour with Madonna.” Oh I bet you did, woman. Scores were perfect at 10/10/10.

Kellie / Derek:  Round One was the Quickstep, and the mentor was once again Len, who told Derek and Kellie that the secret to the Quickstep is to always keep your “nobbly bits” touching and together. This was a classic dance that showed off Kellie’s talent as a technical dancer. Len said “I got so excited I was nearly flatulating.” Umm . . . eewww . . . Scores were 10/10/10.

In the Freestyle of the Evening and perhaps of all-time, Derek made a decision to strip DOWN the production value of the number, and put the focus solely on Kellie’s dancing. Instead of flashy costumes or tons of extra dancers and props, we got to instead watch Kellie pulling off some really complicated and absolutely gorgeous dance moves. The simplicity and beauty behind their routine was so touching, and the pure and very real emotion behind it, made their dance a work of art that brought everyone to tears. There is no real way to properly describe what happened on that dance floor, except to say that I was tearing up the entire time watching it. Carrie Ann sobbed too, and called the dance “one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.” Len gave them a slow standing ovation, and then he crapped his pants. Bruno called it a “contemporary work of art.” Scores were perfect at 10/10/10, and Len shouted that if he was allowed to give an 11, he would. Carrie Ann then had an orgasm.

Zendaya / Val: Their Samba, coached by Carrie Ann, was “magical”and Len yelled out “Thats a Samba!” Why, yes it is, Len! Bruno called Zendaya “incredibly fierce”, and they scored perfect 10′s on the dance.

Their freestyle had a great mixture of intense choreography, and used little kids in the dance routine toward the end. Their theme was inspiration, and trying to inspire kids especially. The movements were fluid and gorgeous and it looked like Zendaya was flying through the air in some parts. Bruno told her “you always shine through everything you do”, and their scores were a perfect 30.


 In the second night of the 2-night finale extravaganza, we saw clips and montages and videos and dance performances and singing performances and pro-dancers and returning cast members and everything else under the sun, until, FINALLY . . . the winner. In the meantime, here are some of the highlighted moments that led up to announcing the winner . . .

*Season 16 Cast Opening Number, featuring the entire cast from this season.

Andy Dick finale Dancing With The Stars finale *4th place going to Aly and Mark, which was a tad shocking, since I thought she was a tad above Jacoby.

*Wynonna, who looked like a refrigerator with legs on the dance floor each week, returned to do something she actually knows how to do – SING!

*Dorothy Hamill danced a duet with past Champion Kristi Yamaguchi, which was really sweet and moving, since Dorothy had said that Kristi was her inspiration for doing the show to begin with.

*Len did a small dance with Lisa Vanderpump, which was quite adorable and sweet. And she actually put down that damn dog of hers for .07 seconds.

*Andy Dick and his partner Shawna revived their Jazz routine to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and Andy appeared in a very funny video showing him sobbing underneath a mountain of kleenex, and yelling “Carrie Ann gave us a FIVE! THAT BITCH!!!!”"

*Jessica Sanchez sings “Feel This Moment” as the 3 finalists are forced to watch clips of themselves that make them each super emotional just minutes before choosing the season 16 champion. And then guess what? It was finally time to choose the champion . . .

The Winners of DWTS season 16 is . . .

Kellie and Derek!!!!!!!!!

So very well-deserved. Tom, Brooke, and the gang will be back in September (Seriously? That’s like 4 months away. Can’t these people stay off TV for a few weeks? ) for season 67, and the rumors I’m hearing about Tom Bergeron leaving the show BETTER NOT BE TRUE. You hear me, Tom???

Season 16, Episodes 19-20 (Originaly aired May 20-21)

For more on Dancing With the Stars, click here.  Follow @poptimal.  Follow @kelleyiskelley.  Read Kelley’s blog, which chronicles the loss of her husband, at ripthelifeiknew here.

Dancing with the Stars images courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor


  1. You’re terrific Kelley. I nearly peed myself laughing so hard at your review. Thanks for the laughs!

  2. Wonderful, and that dance of Kellie’s was amazing. in the finale with Andy (yes, he turned me around. I was prepared to cheer for him to leave the show after one week, and then he showed me how much he had changed. And I was SO happy to see that he has been working hard on his dancing. He didn’t stop just because he got eliminated. He was a better dancer last night than he was before.

    Dorothy….oh you could just see how amazing she would have been had her injury not side lined her, but it was such a joy to watch her dance with Kristi. It meant a lot to both of them. Dorothy was Kristi’s idol growing up, and Kristi was Dorothy’s inspiration.

    Your review is once again awesome!!

  3. Kelley, Kelley….how right on you are….always!!! Kellie was amazing! I have thought so all alsong but she really proved herself with that free style. Derek’s corepgraphy was “Awesome” . Who knew someone that sang on Idol wod become the star she is now…a vary talented lady.

    Great review!!!

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