Dancing With the Stars Season 16 Finale: Did the Right Couple Win the Mirrorball Trophy?

Kellie-Pickler-Dancing-With-the-Stars-WinnerAfter 10 long, highly predictable (and occasionally entertaining) weeks, Dancing With The Stars’ Season 16 finale offered variations on – anticlimax alert! — what we’ve been witnessing since the premiere: Disney teen queen Zendaya still dazzling (her samba, Cha Cha relay and hip hop-themed freestyle on Monday scored a trio of perfect scores from the judges), Kellie Pickler in hot pursuit (just one stinkin’ Cha Cha-fueled point behind), and a game Aly Raisman (just 4 points in arrears) primed to potentially crash the party.

But with these leading ladies a mere heel and toe apart on the Judges’ Leaderboard (sorry, Jacoby Jones, you were clearly the man without the Mirrorball tonight), would the eventual champion be covered with both confetti and controversy?

Indeed, America (aka DWTS superfans) was all a-Twitter due to Monday night’s voting snafu on ABC.com, which temporarily forced fans to rely solely on texts, phone call and – egads! — Facebook to cast their votes. Is there nothing Mark Zuckerberg can’t influence anymore?

Early in tonight’s live show, a rather sheepish Tom Bergeron announced that since voting on ABC.com went down during Monday’s East Coast broadcast — and in fairness to all the couples — none of the votes cast on ABC.com would be counted. I’ll merely echo Val Chmerkovskiy’s apt reaction (according to Today.com) to the whole voting mess: “That’s bull—-!”

But after such a predictable season, part of me was hoping for something shocking – how about Jacoby’s mom running off with the Mirrorball trophy? – as the two-hour finale unfolded. No such luck, but musical performances by Wynonna (thankfully Ms. Judd was singing, not dancing this time), PSY, Pitbull and the fabulous Jessica Sanchez kept the proceedings humming along.

It was also a hoot seeing the returns of Lisa Vanderpump (taking a turn on the ballroom floor with Len Goodman!), a joyful Dorothy Hamill and the ever-campy Andy Dick (who had the best line of the night, a tortured “Carrie Ann gave us a 5, that bi—!” during his Kleenex-heavy clip). Thanks for the LOLs, Andy!

Well into the second hour, our surviving finalists hit the floor for their “Instant Dance” and one last shot (well, so they said) at tipping the Mirrorball tallies in their favor. In short, the clean sweep of perfect scores for Jacoby’s salsa, Kellie’s jive and Zendaya’s jive kept everyone in contention.

But without further ado, the ultimate moment of truth — tonight’s results…and the Mirrorball trophy goes to:

Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas

Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff

Zendaya and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough

Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough

Literally glowing with giddy delight, and showered in rapturous applause – not to mention a spontaneous lift onto Jacoby’s shoulders – Kellie hoisted the Mirrorball sky high. But what’s up with not getting a sound bite from the new champ, guys? Well, Kellie’s joyous expression said far more than any speech ever could, but a disappointed Zendaya did offer this parting quote: “I’m very proud, and very happy, and I get to leave here with an amazing experience.” (Um, she didn’t look all that happy, though, did she?)

And with that, it’s your turn. Did the right couple take home the Mirrorball Trophy? Were you shocked that Aly and Mark didn’t make the final three? And lastly, do you think Kellie was indeed the best dancer this season? Take our poll, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Steve says:

    Im glad Zendaya didnt win – She should never have been cast. Im tired of them casting professional dancers. Shes on a friggin hip hop dancing show so its unfair to put her ona show with people who arent dancers. Im glad someone who actually took a journey and learned to dance won. I do think many of the viewers love Derek and he gets extra votes a lot. I also dont know how producers decide who gets matched up with whom but certain pros always see to get the contenders while others get the ones that have no chance in hell of winning

  2. the8tregirl says:

    I have to say something else on this thread before the top of my head pops off and then I’m going to retreat to my own box of wine….

    I watch DWTS because it’s fun. Even if the “stars” aren’t quite A-Listers, they’re almost always people I know and/or admire for one reason or another. Yes, they’re getting paid and apparently quite well, thank you very much. But they’re also, usually, moving well out of their comfort zone and doing something that’s very hard, very demanding, very personal.

    When people like Zendaya or Sabrina or Nicole, who have had real dance experience and/or training are cast in the show, I do find myself hoping someone else can come along and grow into a fabulous dancer and beat the sparkles off ’em. And sometimes I find there’s a celebrity or two that annoys me as much as Derek annoys Kristin (Hope Solo and Kate-The-Mother-of-Many chief of amongst them) and then I REALLY want someone else to beat the sparkles off ’em! But that’s as competitive as I get in my comfy chair with my glass of wine and my swollen ankles.

    Sometimes I will cheer for the pro more than their celebrity partner. Tony, I love you & wish I could take dance lessons from you, and I really like Jonathan Roberts – please come back – and is there a straight woman in the audience who DOESN’T have a crush on Tristan?? But it’s always, always for fun.

    Like, don’t like. Post, don’t post. But if you’re doing something and it’s not fun, STOP DOING IT.

    • paula says:

      My mom calls Tristan “my little Irish boy” and she’s always happy to see him. :) I hope he gets a good partner next season. (of course, he had a good partner this season; we were sad to see Dorothy have to drop out)

    • Angela says:

      Excellent post. My sentiments exactly.
      Also: “and is there a straight woman in the audience who DOESN’T have a crush on Tristan??”
      I don’t see how any woman could NOT like him :D. He’s adorable. My big hope is that he can get a partner that he has a chance of lasting more than a few weeks on the show with, ’cause I’d be quite happy to see much more of him!

  3. MARY ANN says:


  4. Joan says:

    All you jealous haters should get over. Derek wins because he’s a great choreographer and a good teacher. Zendaya should be good because she already had experience dancing. Yes the right couple did win and he will continue winning no matter who they partner him with. GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON!!!

    • GR says:

      Zendaya should have won because she had less practice and the only dancing she knew was hip hop. No ballroom dancing what so ever. She should have won. Not Derek for the THOUSANTH TIME!!!

  5. Sarah says:

    I am so glad Kellie won and not Zendaya. I didn’t like Zendaya. I normally don’t root for people who have a strong dance back round (don’t think it is fair). I was rooting for Jacoby because I am a Ravens fan. But I really liked Ally and Mark. They deserved to get 3rd place.

  6. anonynous says:

    give derek a partner like kate gosslin and wendy williams and if he ever makes them have a perfect score then i will admit he’s the best. but for now im convinced he is an ass kissing, producers pet

  7. GR says:

    I think Zendaya and Val deserved to win because for one, they said she only got a little bit of practice everyday while the other couples could practice for as long as they needed to. She has homework and a curfew as well as them having more rules since she is a minor and they cant do anything inappropriate like i said since she is a minor. Everyone loved her and so did the judges. She only messed up one dance barely. And dont forget fan base. Kellie has more of an adult fan base while Zendaya has a younger fan base. More children like Zendaya because she is on a very popular kids channel. Many kids have bedtimes and sometimes they have to go to bed at a time such as 8 oclock so they might not even be able to watch the show. Zendaya was as good as Kellie and had less practice so to me she was better because Kellie got more practice time and Zendaya is just a minor so she has to worry about school and how late it is when she gets home to do homework and to just go to bed. The other dancers could go and practice at 3 oclock in the morning. So Zendaya should have won DWTS. I think that it was rigged. Jimmy Kimmel was right, she should of had a sad story because she would have probably won if she did. I think the reason that Kellie won was from something I call pity points. And that is how she won. I feel bad for Val because he has never won and Derek has won like 5 times. I think that they usually win from pity points. I think that if they are going to have a show on dancing, they shouldnt vote on the people that have the saddest story, they should vote on the best dancer since it is a DANCING SHOW!!!!! So people, next time you should vote for the better dancer not the one with the saddest story.

    • OMG, the nerve of you to say that about Kellie, you are some kinda RUDE, well I won’t even call you THAT!! Oh, so it’s Kellie’s fault that Zen couldn’t practice as long…get a LIFE…GEEZ! Kellie was the BEST dancer…PERIOD! How old are you, like twelve? You sound like it!

  8. Allan says:

    Of the four finalists in my opinion the best pro dancers are first Derek Hough, second Mark Ballas, third Val Chmerkovsky and a distant fourth is Karina Smirnoff. Yes Derek made for good TV but he brought out the best in a person who is not a dancer but a singer. Kellie Pickler is only an acceptable singer but by the time DWTS season 16 was over she had become a really good dancer due to Derek’s teaching. I am surprised though that Mark and Alie came in fourth when for my money they should have come in second. Yes technically Zendaya and Val were better but I have watched DWTS since the beginning and they were a bit stiff. So all in all Derek and Kellie deserved to win and I am eagerly awaiting new pros and new celebrities for season 17.

  9. Colleenr says:

    I think Kellie danced great and is fun to listen to, but Zendaya won my heart and I really wanted her to win. Some people, like my mom, felt that Zendaya had an unfair advantage because of her hip hop background. But each contestant came with a skill set, I kept hearing that Kelly had never danced before, but she had 10 years more life experience, was a cheerleader – like the last winner, Melissa, and told Craig Ferguson that she had some dance lessons in high school. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtWpGFUiAaI
    I think in the end, Zendaya was the best dancer and deserved to win, but Kellie had better PR.

  10. miriam says:

    Zendaya was better so far. She has rhythm, musicality, best personality and is a great performer. The She has a dance background, AND????? Just because many believe that the kellie’s freestyle was sensational, makes her better. Nooooo!! Zendaya was amazing from the begining. Yes Derek is a great dancer and choreographer, but he is a kind of boring, his interaction between kellie and him absolutely boring. Include too many lifts and complicated poses doesn’t make a routine great. Period.!!!!!!! The chemestry and interaction between Zendaya and Val was beautiful and geniune.
    Was very convinient to Kellie that the day of finals Tom Bergeron announced that since voting on ABC.com went down during Monday’s East Coast broadcast, and in fairness to all the couples — none of the votes cast on ABC.com would be counted.
    The producers o whatever who was decided who is going to win. Kellie did very nice but Zendaya was the best.

  11. Olivia says:

    Okay Kellie did have dance training and cheer leading under her belt! Nicole Scherzinger and Jennifer Grey as well. Guess who won and was also partnered with Derek? Yup both of them. So for people to keep bringing up Zendaya’s hip hop training is quite annoying considering she’s not the first nor last with dance training. This is supposed to be judging the stars anyone with eyes could see Zendaya was the best. If they counted all of the votes and Zendaya and Val still lost then most people would be okay with that. But they decided not to count the online votes, excluding a whole demographic. Seems fixed to me. Even Hope Solo said it was fixed. Y’all need to open your eyes cause if they didn’t count the online votes and Zen and Val won, then you Kellie and Derek fans would be saying the same thing. Because its not fair, especially to the international and other fans who voted online.

  12. Angel says:

    So all you Derek bashes, if he is getting all this preferential treatment and Zendaya was clearly the better dancer, why didn’t he get her for a partner? Why didn’t he and Kellie get the most judges points?

  13. Violet says:

    I like both Kellie and Zendaya. I just wish other dancers would be allowed to win.

  14. Angelgirl says:


  15. Christine says:

    Derek is amazing! But, he doesn’t always win. He’s usually in the top group but he has done a great job with everyone he has been partnered with. This season he is partnered with a heavy set black girl off Glee. She did amazing under his instruction so it really doesn’t matter what partner he gets, he always makes them look good! As far as his looks? He has a hot bod and very good looks, he has singing talent as well as dance and he is a triple threat! He can also act! Haters your just jealous… Lol

  16. G says:

    The only reason Zendaya DID NOT win is because she’s:
    1) A Disney star (adults seem to not wanna vote for people from there)
    2) She’s extremely young (again… adults peoples))
    3) So what okay yes she does have some hip hop experience (But if anything that held her back and made it more of a challenge but did you see the way she overcame it?!)

    Zendaya should’ve won and become the youngest person to win DWTS. Simple as that. It’s clear from the judges votes each week AND even the fans. This was rigged I swear because they didn’t want a Disney star winning.

    Noting this, hasn’t anyone noticed that /not one/ Disney star has ever one once? They’ve only ever made it as runner-up (For EX: Kyle Massey, Ryker Lynch, Corbin Bleu, and, of course, ZENDAYA). Just a thought.