05:24 PM EDT 03/07/2014
Originally posted 05/22/2013 07:30AM
Being the first one eliminated on the last night of competition was rough for Dancing with the Stars contestant Alexandra Raisman.
"I'm sad it's over," Mark Ballas's partner, 18, told PEOPLE in the ballroom immediately after Tuesday's finale. "Right when they announced [our elimination], it was just heartbreaking. You work so hard and everyone wants to win."
Fortunately, after news of the fourth-place pair's dismissal sunk in, Raisman had a new outlook on the situation.
Originally posted 05/21/2013 09:30PM
On Tuesday, Dancing with the Stars named its season 16 champions.
At the end of Monday night's episode, Zendaya and an injured Val Chmerkovskiy received perfect 30s for both of their full-length routines, and then tacked on an additional five points to their score for winning the cha cha relay.
But only one point below the highest scoring pair were Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, who earned perfect 30s for their routines, which included a dramatic freestyle number that had viewers in tears. They came in second place during the cha cha relay, and scored four extra points.
Below them were Alexandra Raisman and partner Mark Ballas, followed by Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff.
And the winners are Kellie and Derek!
Originally posted 05/21/2013 07:15PM
The final four Dancing with the Stars contestants – Jacoby Jones, Kellie Pickler, Alexandra Raisman and Zendaya – and their pro partners have overcome injuries and potential eliminations to make it all the way to the season 16 finale. But only one couple can take home the tantalizingly close mirror-ball trophy.
Pickler's strong performances throughout the season were magnified Monday night, when she and Derek Hough earned a perfect 30 score for a freestyle dance judge Carrie Ann Inaba called "one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen." Pickler later admitted "I let all of my walls down" for the fearless show-stopper.
NFL player Jones and pro partner Karina Smirnoff did not have the most stellar performances, getting flak from the judges for an imperfect jive, and later for a super-sized freestyle dance. But Inaba nevertheless dubbed the wide receiver the "number one entertainer of season 16," in the semifinals the previous week.
Originally posted 05/21/2013 01:30PM
Zendaya's elbow went flying, and Val Chmerkovskiy's night was suddenly in jeopardy.
But Chmerkovskiy, 27, being the pro that he is, soldiered on after the accident in dress rehearsal for Monday's Dancing with the Stars left him with a deep gash over his right eye that almost sent him straight to the hospital before the first night of the season 16 finale.
"That's what I was worried about," he told PEOPLE after the show. "It's going to keep pouring, pouring, pouring, and I'm going to need stitches. If I was going to have to go get stitches, then I wouldn't have time to make it back. So thank God the blood subsided."
Originally posted 05/21/2013 09:25AM
It wasn't just teary-eyed viewers who were left speechless after Kellie Pickler's flawless, dramatic freestyle performance with Derek Hough on Monday night's Dancing with the Stars finals. The country starlet herself was also at a loss for words.
"I just feel like I let all of my walls down and I just got out there and just did my little dance," Pickler, 26, told PEOPLE backstage after her performance. "I just let myself go. There was a freedom, in a sense, that I felt. I really don't even know how to put it into words. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, I feel like I've accomplished so much being here."
Hough, 28, who admitted he and Pickler struggled with the routine during rehearsals, said, "We were super, super nervous, but right before we went on there, I kind of gave Kellie a little pep talk. I was just like, 'This is your dance. There is nobody here that can do this dance but you. This is what you're meant to do.' "
Originally posted 05/20/2013 10:30PM
The final four couples performed three routines each on Monday's Dancing with the Stars. By the end of the night, one pair were in the lead with a perfect score for all three dances.
However, the episode kicked off with an imperfect – though energetic – jive.
Karina Smirnoff and partner Jacoby Jones – who judge Carrie Ann Inaba previously called "the number one entertainer of season 16" – were told by judge Len Goodman that they showed improvement, but that "you got excited at times and lost it."
Originally posted 05/20/2013 08:00PM
Who's going to take home the coveted mirror-ball trophy?
The top four couples on Dancing with the Stars – Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas, Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy, Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff – are hitting the ballroom one last time Monday night in hopes of earning high scores from judges and lots of votes from viewers to win the competition.
And the competition is fierce! Kellie and Zendaya have been clear frontrunners from the beginning, while Alexandra has also scored big and Jacoby is finishing strong, charming the judges and picking up enough votes to make it to the finale.
We want to hear from you about Monday's show. Share your thoughts on Twitter @peoplemag and we'll post the best Tweets right here.
Originally posted 04/29/2013 10:30PM
The ballroom heated up on Monday night's Latin-themed Dancing with the Stars.
Seven weeks into the competition, almost all of the remaining couples came up with impressive routines. But it was Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas who landed their first 10s of the season, with a salsa that Len Goodman – who gave the pair a nine – called, "tasty and refreshing."
The pair got 10s from the other two judges, which put them at a total of 29 points out of 30. They also received an additional three points for winning a dance-off against Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess.
Raisman and Ballas tied with regular high-scoring duo, Derek Hough and Kellie Pickler, who wowed judges with their samba to Ricky Martin's "Shake Your Bon Bon."
Originally posted 04/23/2013 10:15PM
It was another week of low scores for Andy Dick and Victor Ortiz, who performed on Monday's Stevie Wonder-themed episode of Dancing with the Stars.
Dick and partner Sharna Burgess struggled through an 18-point samba and earned 25 additional points for their group dance as part of Team Samba. And Ortiz and partner Lindsay Arnold failed to impress the judges with their rumba, which earned 18 points. They later added 22-points as part of Team Paso.
Did Dick or Ortiz get the boot at the end of Tuesday's elimination episode? Or was there a surprise dismissal? Read on to find out ...
Originally posted 04/22/2013 10:40PM
Stevie Wonder was the guest of honor Monday night on Dancing with the Stars. Between performances by the iconic singer, the eight remaining couples competed with two dances each to his hits.
Once again, Kellie Pickler and Zendaya were atop the leaderboard – and both earned 10s for their respective routines.
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy's cha cha to "Do I Do" was "full of snap, crackle and pop," according to Len Goodman. Carrie Ann Inaba called the routine "perfection in motion." They earned 29 points.
Kellie and Derek Hough's quickstep to "Part-Time Lover" was "the best dance I've seen on season 16," Len said. Carrie Ann added, "Everything about it was perfect except there was some space in your hold." They also earned 29 points.
But Kellie and Derek finished slightly ahead of Zendaya and Val after the second routine, a team dance in which four couples performed at the same time.
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