Pickler Wins “Dancing with the Stars”

Albemarle native Kellie Pickler is the new champion of “Dancing with the Stars”. The country singer last night took top honors on the ABC network show, based on judges’ scoring combined with votes from the show’s viewers.

Albemarle, N.C. native Kellie Pickler (r) and partner Derek Hough receive the Mirror Ball Trophy after being named champions of season 16 of "Dancing with the Stars" on ABC-TV, May 21, 2013. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC photo)

Albemarle, N.C. native Kellie Pickler (r) and partner Derek Hough receive the Mirror Ball Trophy after being named champions of season 16 of “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC-TV, May 21, 2013. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC photo)

After the prize was awarded, the 26-year-old Pickler thanked fans for voting and tweeted, “I’ll never ever forget this night!!”

Show host Tom Bergeron told viewers last night that a website problem caused votes cast online Monday night from the east coast to be lost, so only viewer votes received by phone, text and Facebook were included in the final tabulation.

Last night’s season finale included performances from other contestants eliminated during competition. ABC recently announced the next season of the popular show will be on one night a week instead of two.

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