1. She has the exact personality and backstory for this show
If you could do one of those police sketches just describing the perfect DWTS contestant, it's Kellie. She’s sweet, funny, pretty, self-deprecating, warm, approachable, liked across all demographics, a well-known figure on TV with lots of famous friends to back her, talented without having previous dance or athletic experience, and in possession of a heart-warming backstory about the triumph of the human spirit. She worked to get to this place in life. She was already firing on all cylinders by Week 1, and that’s not even adding in the fact that she’s dancing with Derek. That doesn’t hurt, either.
2. She’s dancing with Derek
All-Stars was unpredictable in general, but it may have hurt Shawn Johnson that she had already won DWTS before, never mind that Derek had won three times before. That’s not the case with Kellie, and DWTS Season 16 is following a more traditional trajectory than Season 15. Derek knows how to win. His style is just catnip to the core DWTS fanbase. Kellie and Derek are an adorable pair, just a delight to watch, and they happen to create gorgeous dances. We know they have devoted fans (even Ellen DeGeneres has been tweeting for people to vote for Kellie). And when Len Goodman gave them that 7, the earth shook with indignation. If that happened again, the world would have collapsed.
3. In a weird way, you could call her an underdog
Kellie was good right out of the gate, but she didn’t come into Season 16 with either dance experience or the kind of status that wins seasons. Zendaya has dance experience, Aly is an Olympian, and Jacoby is a Super Bowl champion. Those “types” tend to do well and win. Kellie is a country music singer known more for American Idol than any kind of athletic or rhythmic ability. Plus, Kellie has been seen from the beginning as Zendaya’s No. 1 rival to win. (Louis Van Amstel called them “heads above the rest,” and that was back in Week 3.) And some people are entrenched on the side that Zendaya’s previous dance experience, from Hip Hop to Shake It Up, gives her an unfair advantage — not to mention her gazillion (OK, more than 2.6 million) Twitter followers. She seems almost impossible to beat. Not everyone agrees with that idea, but some fans not favoring Zendaya may decide to back the other strongest candidate, as opposed to splitting votes (and vice versa). ‘Cause if you just say “vote for the best dancer to win,” there’s no clear answer to that this season, though Kellie ended up taking the prize!
What do you think, DWTS fans? Did Kellie deserve to take home the Mirror Ball? Sound off in the comments!
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