“Dancing With the Stars”: Kellie Pickler Brings Carrie Ann Inaba to Tears

Photos by Adam Taylor/ABC

Will country be king of reality TV this spring?

Kellie Pickler is very much in position to win this season of Dancing With the Stars just days after Trace Adkins won the all-star season of Celebrity Apprentice (May 19).

And Kellie put herself in that position with a breathtaking, moving supersize freestyle dance with partner Derek Hough that literally had judge Carrie Ann Inaba (and Kellie's husband, Kyle Jacobs) in tears.

First Dance: Freestyle

“You just bared your soul on the dance floor,” Carrie Ann said, “and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Thank you.”

Len Goodman, who yelled at Kellie earlier this season for too much flash, gave her a standing ovation.

“Great dancing engages the heart,” Len said. “You drew everyone into that performance.”

And Bruno Tonioli called the performance—which drew a long and loud standing ovation from the crowd—“a contemporary piece of art.”

Both Len and Bruno said they wish they could've given Kellie 11s instead of 10s, but she drew a perfect 30 for that performance and for a second dance, the Quickstep, Monday night (May 20).

Second Dance: Quickstep

 Problem is, one of the three remaining finalists, teen Disney star Zendaya Coleman, also got two perfect scores. And Zendaya edged Kellie in a third group dance that gave Zendaya five bonus points to Kellie's four.

Final score Monday night: Zendaya, 65, Kellie, 64, gymnast Aly Raisman, 61, football player Jacoby Jones, 56.

The public voting is done, but each contestant will do one more dance for the judges Tuesday night (May 21), when the winner will be named.

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