After season 16 of “Dancing with the Stars” came to a close Tuesday night with country music star Kellie Pickler being crowned the winner, all the stars traveled overnight from Los Angeles to join “Good Morning America” in Times Square this morning for an epic After Party.
The finalists and their partners – Kellie Pickler, Derek Hough, Zendaya Coleman, Val Chmerkovskiy, Jacoby Jones, Karina Smirnoff, Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas – gave “GMA” the inside scoop on everything that really went on behind the scenes as the ballroom battle heated up.
Pickler, 26, credits her grandfather for being the reason she signed on to do the show, which was obviously good advice as she’s now the Mirror Ball Trophy winner, although her grandfather claims he’s the one who’s actually going to keep it.
“It was so great because he actually talked me into doing the show,” Pickler said on “GMA” this morning. “He’s never, ever missed an episode each season. He was really excited. It’s going in his bedroom, he said.”
Pickler’s partner, Hough, was proud to take part in her dance accomplishments and couldn’t be happier for her surprising success.
“She really was so surprising because she’s a country singer, and that’s what she does,” Hough, 28, said. “She doesn’t dance or do anything athletic. So to see her come out and do that was phenomenal. It blew me away. And I was really happy to bring that out.”
Pickler’s husband, Kyle Jacobs, surprised her with a special video he recorded unveiling a new addition to their family, a puppy he suggested naming Tango because she did so well with that particular dance.
“Baby, you won ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ I can’t believe it,” Jacobs said on the video. “You’ve never danced a minute in your life. You’ve been doing this for two and a half months and you just won ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ That is crazy. I’m so proud of you. I love you so much, and my little gift to you is this little devil right here. We should call him Tango, because you rocked the tango, let’s be honest.”
But Pickler wasn’t the only dancer going home with something to commemorate the season. Zendaya Coleman’s professional partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, has a fresh scar on his face from their intense action on the dance floor.
“Fourteen dances and 14 stitches,” Chmerkovskiy, 27, said. “I’ll be able to say for the rest of my life a future Grammy winner, a future star gave me this scar.”
In addition to spilling their thoughts on the season, the four ‘Dancing’ teams played a “Two to Tango” game show where the “GMA” anchors tested their knowledge on how well the partners actually knew each other.
Despite all their time together on the dance floor, ‘DWTS’ winners Hough and Pickler didn’t prove victorious in their trivia knowledge, as Hough thought Picker’s celebrity crush was Channing Tatum.
“No, I like cowboys,” Pickler quickly replied. “Clint Eastwood!”
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas were the winners, as he knew her favorite color was pink, hometown was Boston and upcoming birthday was May 25, answering all the questions with ease.