Kellie Pickler wins 'Dancing With The Stars,' Broadway next? (Q&A)
Kellie Pickler, who lost "American Idol" seven years ago, made her reality show comeback this year and went all the way to win season 16 of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" and the Mirror Ball Trophy.
The 26-year-old bleached-blonde, fun-loving, self-proclaimed "crazy" country music singer from North Carolina maintained her mischievous demeanor during an interview with OTRC.com following Tuesday's finale.
"I got some muscles now from dancing!" Pickler said, raising the Mirror Ball Trophy above her head.
On Tuesday's finale, she and partner Derek Hough beat three finalist couples -- "Shake It Up!" actress Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy, who placed second, NFL star Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff, who came in third, and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas.
(Check out PHOTOS of past winners of "Dancing With The Stars" as well as PHOTOS from the season 16 finale on May 21, 2013.)
Pickler and Hough, a 28-year-old pro dancer who had won "Dancing With The Stars" three times before, had been frontrunners throughout the season and had wowed the judges -- and viewers -- on Monday with a gravity-defying move during one of their three dance performances.
Winning "Dancing With The Stars" marks somewhat of a reality TV redemption for Pickler, who was often mocked by viewers over her Southern accent and "ditzy" demeanor on season 5 of "American Idol." She placed sixth in the singing competition series.
She went on to become a country singer and gained new fans, who supported her on "Dancing With The Stars." Last fall, Pickler made headlines when she shaved her head to show solidarity for her best friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Check out OTRC.com's interview with Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough.
Kellie, your husband says that you're like a five-foot-nothing who can move mountains. You just moved a mountain, didn't you?
KP: "Well, we moved a mountain together. This has been an unbelievable journey and this is just the cherry on top. I mean, we've never really sat down and talked about, or even thought about it being a possibility. We've just taken it one week at a time and one dance at a time and I'm just, I'm kinda lost for words."
DH: "Which doesn't happen, ladies and gentlemen, so you know she's excited when she can't talk."
KP: "I know!"
DH: "She's like, 'I just ...'"
DH: "Mmm hmm ..."
DH: "I dunno."
Derek, this is the fourth time you and I have talked with you holding a trophy.
DH: "For me, it's not about me. It's really about my partners and who I'm with and I'm so happy that Kellie knew what it felt like to win, at such a large scale. You know, they call her name and they call, 'Kellie Pickler ...'"
KP: "I never .. this is like, the biggest thing I have ever won anything in my life. This is the biggest thing that's ever happened to me!"
DH: "It's pretty amazing. I'm so excited. I'm so happy for her and it's so funny, 'cause when it happens, you don't really know how ... it's just, 'What?' You're a little in shock."
KP: "I just kinda feel like, in a second, somebody's going to wake me up and it's all going to be a dream and I'm gonna have to just go back to sleep and hope that I dream it all over again. This is amazing."
This can open doors. What would you like to happen now that this has happened?
KP: "Derek's pretty adamant on me trying Broadway, and [so does] Bruno."
DH: "If she doesn't do some sort of, just, stage show, even for a little short stint, or whatever ... she is amazing."
KP: "I would definitely try it if it was the right thing for me. But country music is my life and my number one priority will always be country music."
DH: "But I definitely can say that she can call herself now a dancer and a multi-performer, absolutely. Absolutely. [Hugs Pickler] You're going to go and do that baby, c'mon!"
(Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, which produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).