May 22nd, 2013
09:45 AM ET
The 16th season of "Dancing with the Stars" came to a close Tuesday night, and the first "American Idol" contestant to compete on the ABC series ended up on top.
Country singer Kellie Pickler overcame tough challenges from actress Zendaya, gymnast Aly Raisman and football star Jacoby Jones to take home the Mirror Ball Trophy. Pickler closed out her run with a trio of perfect 30s in the two-night finale.
Pro partner Derek Hough took home his fourth Mirror Ball, the first pro dancer to do so. He won previously with Brooke Burke-Charvet, Nicole Scherzinger and Jennifer Grey.
The finale was not without its share of controversy, as host Tom Bergeron announced that viewer votes tallied on ABC's website would not be counted due to issues that occurred during Monday's East coast broadcast. Phone, text and Facebook votes were the ones tallied for Tuesday's finale. It is not known if the ABC votes would have mattered in the final tally.
Tuesday's finale also marked the likely end of an era for the long-running show. Beginning in September, "Dancing with the Stars" will air just one night a week. Three hours of weekly programming will now became two and, as a result, changes will be made - maybe even at the judges' table.
Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli have all been there from the beginning, and their unique chemistry and personalities have been a show hallmark. But familiarity breeds predictability, and viewers may be looking for a fresh face or three to bring new perspectives. Goodman and Tonioli also judge on the British series that inspired it all, "Strictly Come Dancing," so perhaps a departure from one of the programs would be a welcome relief.
And what about the professional dancers? Cheryl Burke and Tony Dovolani have been with the show since season two, Karina Smirnoff and Kym Johnson first appeared in season three, while Hough and Mark Ballas joined in season five. Could the inclusion of three new pros this season be the start of a changing of the ballroom guard?
Do you agree with Kellie Picker winning this season? And what changes would you like to see on "DWTS" this fall?
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