By B.J. Drye, Editor
Friday, May 24, 2013 —
America finally picked Pickler.
After being at or near the top of the leaders for the entire season, the “Pick Pickler” slogan became a reality Tuesday night as Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough captured the mirrored ball trophy and the title of champions of Season 16 of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”
“This is amazing,” Pickler said shortly after the announcement, seeming a little shocked in the moment.
On judging the quick step Monday night, Len Goodman said of the performance: “That was excitement.”
“Kellie you are the belle of the ball,” Judge Bruno Tonioli said.
“More glamourous. More beautiful. Brightly. Lively. Better than ever. Technically it was really a tour de force. You couldn’t have put in more content if you tried.
“It was really fantastic.”
The performance landed the team its second perfect 30 of the season, and a third would come later in the evening for a freestyle routine.
“Dancing With The Stars” is similar to the format of “American Idol,” where fan voting helps select the winner.
Pickler finished sixth in Season 5 of “American Idol” after a mammoth push of fan voting, including voting parties in Downtown Albemarle and “Pick Pickler” T-shirts sold through Vac & Dash.
While the local intensity for her “Dancing With The Stars” run may not have been as visible as that of Idol, she continues to have support in Albemarle and Stanly County.
Fans and dance instructors offered comments on her performances throughout the season and many of the teachers proclaimed their thoughts shortly after her win Tuesday night.
Albemarle resident Blair Johnson-Schadt owns Uwharrie Dance Center and teaches dance at West Montgomery High School.
She commented on the freestyle routine.
“[It] was full of emotion, smooth athleticism with that amazing acroatic flip at the beginning and the gravity-defying lean which took an amazing amount of balance and strength. It was a beautiful piece,” she said.
“The jive dance was fun, energetic and super quick. She has amazing flexibility and precision for all the fast-paced moves in the jive. Her partner said she can call herself a dancer. I agree.”
Locust School of Dance owner Bambi Berman said she blown away with Pickler’s “amazing natural abilities in dance.”
“We thought she was a totally talented singer and were proud when she was on ‘American Idol,’ but watching her on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ brought out a whole new definition of Kellie,” Berman said.
“She has unbelievable natural flexibility and dance lines which most dance students would work years for, the ability to coordinate so effortlessly with her partner, her stunning natural showmanship and her ability to keep her ego in check just makes you want to watch her over and over again.”
Berman, who does not teach ballroom dance, said it would be natural to look for flaws in a routine.
“This just wasn’t the case with Kellie and to think she has had no formal training before now makes me wonder what other hidden talents she has. On top of just really great natural ability, Kellie keeps that ‘hometown girl’ attitude which tends to make everyone love her.no matter what she is doing.
“I think that she is a great example to girls that even though you have adversity in your life, you can take your God-given talents and push forward and keep putting one foot in front of the other until you have achieved your dream.”