It was one of the closest competitions in several seasons on the celebrity dance competition show.
Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy were joined by Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, Aly Raisman and partner Mark Ballas and Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff, the fetching pro dancer turned Playboy model.
The judges weren’t much help in deciding the outcome. After Raisman and Ballas were eliminated right off the bat, they awarded each of the three remaining couples perfect “30” scores for the Instant Dance.
Dancing With the Stars Highlights
Those scores plus Monday’s results and the votes of viewers decided the outcome.
Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy turned in top performances throughout most of the season and were considered the front runners. But Monday night, Picker and Hough danced so superbly they brought tears to the eyes of Judge Carrie Ann Inaba.
“Kellie, you just bared your soul on the dance floor, and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Thank you,” the judge said.
Much of the audience felt the same way and an upset was in the making. They got perfect tens from all three judges.
Still, Disney star Zendaya Coleman and partner Val were leading after Monday night by a slim margin.
Pickler, 26, and Hough, however, were perfectly matched as a couple. And they danced with incredible passion. Plus, Kelly had her substantial country music fan base to drawn on for support in the popular voting. Combined it was too much to overcome.
Jones and Smirnoff were announced as third place finishers, leaving Pickler and Zendaya in contention for the Mirror Ball.
That left Pickler and Hough in contention with Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy.
Ironically Hough said he “wasn’t planning on doing this season.”
“Last minute, I had this weird feeling – and now I know what that feeling was, it was Kellie. It’s been a truly amazing season,” he said.
He was right. They were magical together and captured the Mirror Ball. Check out their performance below and the winners ceremony