Kellie Pickler Gets Her First Perfect 30

Kellie Pickler rode a crazy emotional roller coaster in the semifinal round of Dancing With the Stars Monday night (May 13).

She started off with an incredible Argentine tango that earned her her first perfect score—three 10s. Judge Len Goodman, who chided Kellie last week for too much flash and not enough substance, stood up, pounded the table and declared, “That was fantastic!”

But the moment was short-lived: Judges also handed out three more 30s to competitors throughout the night.

Then, producers put together an incredibly moving piece about Kellie's tough upbringing, with an absentee mom and an often incarcerated dad. Country superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley offered love and support in that story.

“Knowing what she’s overcome in her life, it’s so inspiring,” Brad said simply.

Right after that soaring piece, Kellie came back down to earth quickly after her second dance, a flamenco. Two of three judges said she tightened up halfway through, earning a 28 of 30 and robbing herself of a second perfect score.

Kellie’s explanation: “This dress weighs 5,000 pounds!”

In all, Kellie got an amazing 58 of 60 for the night—but she finished third, behind Olympic gold medalist Alexandra Raisman and football player Jacoby Jones.

The DWTS finals happen May 20.

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