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:

4th PLACE
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas

3rd PLACE
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff

FINAL TWO COUPLES COMPETING FOR THE MIRROR BALL
Zendaya and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough

MIRROR BALL CHAMPIONS
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!