NEW YORK (Reuters) - Country singer Kellie Pickler won the 16th season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" on Tuesday night, winning over judges and TV audiences with her graceful style and high-jumping jives with partner and professional dancer Derek Hough.
Pickler, who first grabbed attention as a contestant on "American Idol" in 2006, screeched and jumped up and down when she learned she had won. Fellow finalist Jacoby Jones, an NFL player, hoisted her on his shoulders to celebrate.
Pickler beat out Jones, former Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, and actress Zendaya, who goes by her first name. The show began with 12 celebrity contestants including singer Wynonna Judd and former Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill, who were paired with the show's professional dancers.
Inspired by the British show "Strictly Come Dancing," "Dancing With the Stars" has remained popular with American TV audiences since its debut in 2005, though its ratings have slipped over time. The show's judges award points to the couples based on their dance routines, which are weighed equally with audience votes to select the winner.
ABC is a unit of Walt Disney Co.
(This story corrects the spelling of the winner's name to Kellie, instead of Kelly. It also corrects the spelling of Wynonna Judd in the third paragraph.)
(Reporting by Andrea Burzynski; Editing by Elaine Lies and Eric Beech)