'Dancing With the Stars' Names Season 16 Winner
With four couples competing in the ABC finale, one gets the boot early on while the final three square off in an "Instant Dance" to help determine the winner.
Dancing With the Stars closed out its 16th season on Tuesday night with its first four-way finale.
Pairings Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas, Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy and Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff all went into the last broadcast with relatively even scores -- though Jones, the lone male finalist, and Smirnoff were lagging.
Raisman, whose popularity during the 2012 Olympic Games first saw her perform during fall's All-Star run, was the first to get the cut. She and her two-time winning pro didn't even get the chance to perform Instant Dance, which helped decide which of the remaining three couples would be crowned the winner.
The Instant Dances did not change any rankings. The three couples all scored 10s from each of the judges, leaving Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy the finale's top scorers with a cumulative 95.
Low-scoring Jones came in third place, leaving the two season-long favorites in contention for the win. And though the scores went to Zendaya, bragging rights ultimately went to Pickler and Hough.
The duo no doubt saw a boost from their Monday night freestyle, which received a standing ovation from the judges and a fan-voted request for an encore during the finale. The American Idol star brought her partner a record fourth mirror-ball trophy, making him the most decorated in the show's history.
When Dancing With the Stars returns in the fall, voting will likely see some tinkering. Eliminees (and winners) have thus far been determined by a combination of judges' scores and fan votes, but shifting the series to one-night format means performances and results will take place in the same two-hour block.