Partner – Kellie Pickler
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Catching Up with Derek! Last season, we reported that Derek would not be returning to DWTS. Since Season 15 concluded, he continued to say that he had many projects he wanted to work on instead. On February 6, however, he stated that he’d consider returning for the right partner. Guess that would be Kellie. Read about his other projects in this blog. Scroll to the end for the bullet points if you’re in a hurry. 🙂 It has also recently been announced that Derek and his sister Julianne will be producing a TV show on the Starz TV network. Catch up on Derek and his projects here and here and here.
Statistics and Trivia prepared by @donamadrina
• Yay! Our beloved favorite pro is back for another season! See Catching Up With Derek! above.
• Derek and Kellie were the first couple down the ballroom steps for Season 16, and they proceeded to impress both the audience and the judges with their classy, sassy Cha Cha.
• Though the judges weren’t “warmed up” when Derek and Kellie danced, the couple still managed to earn the 2nd highest score for the evening. Not bad for their debut dance! 🙂
• “Yum, yum, pig’s bum! That was fun!,” said Len. “You came out and you sold it….Great start to Season 16.”
• Carrie Ann joined in the praise, exclaiming, “Looks like over all you’ve impressed all three of us judges. I thought that was fantastic.”
• Some of us on twitter were commenting on how it seems that Cha Cha is the dance that Derek seems to dance a lot in Week 1, and that he and his partner are the first couple to dance when he does. Fact or Fiction?
• In actuality, Derek has danced the Cha Cha six times in Week 1 (Seasons 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, and 16).
• He and his partner have been the first couple to dance 5 times, (Seasons 5, 8, 9, 14, and 16).
• In fact, Derek has opened the show more than any other pro. The most for the other pros has been twice.
• He has opened the season AND danced the Cha Cha, 4 times (Seasons 5, 8, 14, 16).
• In Week 1, he has also danced Salsa (1x-Season 9), Viennese Waltz (3x-Seasons 10, 11, 13), and the Foxtrot (1x-Season 15).
Week 1 Collage
WEEK 2 – Jazz Week
• DWTS introduced Jazz to the ballroom this season, and Derek rose to the occasion, choreographing an amazingly inventive routine that combined jazz and contemporary.
• The audience was on its feet after the beautifully executed performance, and even Carrie Ann was motivated to stand, almost having a nipple reveal in her excitement.
• “You are a dancer!” she exclaimed, “That was friggin’ amazing!”
• Len continued the praise, adding, “Last week was a spark. This week was a fire.”
• Derek’s staging of the dance consisted in dimmed lighting, billowy smoke that emanated from the floor, and standing light sabers that simulated thin pillars.
• There, in the midst of the mist, was Kellie in her skimpy, but sparkly costume….and Derek, to the delight of his fans, was shirtless.
• Derek rarely removes his shirt. In his 11 seasons, he’s been sans shirt with his partner on only 3 other occasions: Joanna (Lambada), Maria (Salsa), and Shawn (Samba Trio).
• EncoreKELLIE with a hashtag was a trending topic on Twitter after Derek and Kellie’s incredible Jazz performance. Deservedly so, as it was one of the best routines of the night. (No encore, however.) 🙁
• The couple earned their first 9’s of the season, and Derek earned the 2nd highest score he has ever earned in week 2.
• It is common for Derek and his partner to earn their first 9’s early in the season. Here are his stats:
- Earned in week 1 – Seasons 7, 10
- Earned in week 2 – Seasons, 14, 16
- Earned in week 3 – Seasons 5, 8, 13, 15
- Earned in week 4 – Seasons 6, 9, 11
• Len is usually the one who withholds the 9 when the other judges give one. In Seasons 5, 7, 9, and 15, his was the sole 8.
• In Season 10, he went even lower, giving a 7 when the other judges gave 9’s.
• Surprisingly, in Season 6, during week 4, the other judges gave 9’s, but Len held up the 10 paddle.
• Derek and Kellie landed at the top of the leaderboard this week, tied with one other couple, and came in second in scoring overall for the two-week period. They are SAFE. Yay! 🙂
Collage – Week 2
WEEK 3 – Prom Night
• Though Kellie had complained all week about how their prom night Jive was killing her, she and Derek were the ones who killed that Jive on the dance floor. 🙂
• The audience gave the couple a standing O, and clapped and shouted heartily for 27 seconds. This couple is in it for the win.
• Kellie & Derek trended worldwide on Twitter after their performance.
• Carrie Ann, referring to their vigorous, bouncy dance, exclaimed, “That was ridiculously amazing.”
• Len, who awarded them the first, and only 9, that he has bestowed on any couple this season, was elated, ” You were flying about like a wasp at a picnic.”
• Bruno, alluding to the fact that their Jive was performed to Kenny Loggin’s song, Footloose, commented, “There was nothing loose about that performance. Crisp, tight, precise.”
• It was really neat that Derek got to perform his Jive to Footloose, because as many of you already know, he was in the original cast production of Footloose: the Musical in London at the tender age of 21.
• Read more about Derek’s pre-DWTS theatrical career while living in London here. Scroll to The Leading Man.
Collage – Week 3
WEEK 4 – The Most Memorable Year
• Derek and Kellie danced a touching Rumba to Say I Do, a song written for Kellie by her husband, Kyle Jacobs, for their wedding day. Ahhhh!
• Bruno described the affect of the dance eloquently, “It was like watching a sequence of magical images underscored by the soundtrack of love. Beautiful!”
• On the show, during Derek and Kellie’s dance, Kyle sang the song live, rather than using a sound track. The producers thought the impact would be more powerful. It was!
• Derek and Kellie missed a day and a half of rehearsals, and Kellie had been really nervous about their upcoming performance.
• Derek was philosophical: “I kept trying to change her state. I could see it in her face and it was up in her shoulders and up in her chest.”…’Listen’ (he said to her), ‘Perfection doesn’t exist in what you do. Perfection only exists in the way it makes you feel. That’s what perfection is’.”
• Team PickPicklerHough (unofficially named) earned two 9’s for their Rumba, with Len’s lone 8 spoiling the party…..again.
• For the 3rd time in 4 weeks, Derek and Kellie are in 2nd place. (Not a bad place to be actually.) 🙂
• Tom asked viewers to vote on Twitter for their two favorite pros, and for much of Monday evening #proDEREK trended in the United States on Twitter.
• Derek had an AT&T Spotlight performance with Brilynn Rakes, a 17 year old legally blind dancer, who had chosen Derek as her favorite pro. The couple’s dance, and Derek’s contemporary choreography, was absolutely mesmerizing. See it here.
Collage – Week 4
WEEK 5 – Len’s Side-by-Side Challenge
• This week, Derek’s choreography for Monday evening’s classy Foxtrot recreated the feel of mid-century Hollywood.
• Kellie, looking glamourous in a beautiful gown, and Derek in his white tux and spats inspired Bruno to compare the couple’s sophisticated elegance to a scene from The Great Gatsby.
• Call it what you will, Hollywood…Gatsby…or Fred and Ginger, Len summed it up niftily, “You put the ‘oo’ in ‘smooth’!”
• Anna Trebunskaya and Henry Byalikov were the pros who danced the Side-by-Side Challenge with Kellie and Derek.
• Kellie kept up beautifully with Anna, Henry, and Derek, dancing choreography that Derek DID NOT dumb down for her, as did some other pros for their celebrities.
• Earlier in the week, a frustrated Derek had complained of experiencing ‘choreographer’s block’, and on top of that, during the show, the producers chose to continually show Derek getting frustrated with Kellie. Viewers were probably expecting a dance disaster.
• Kellie later said to Derek, “I don’t hate you, but I hate your ways right now.” 🙂
• Remember Derek and Jennifer from S-11, Week 5? They also had a minor tiff while training for the Foxtrot.
• There must be something about the Foxtrot. 🙂 In S-13, Ricki and Derek fell from the top of the Leaderboard due to the Foxtrot, also Week 5.
• Ah, maybe it’s not the Foxtrot at all. Just maybe it’s Week 5 that is slightly unlucky. Remember in S-9 during Week 5 that poor Derek fell sick with the swine flu. Hmmm.
• Nevertheless, Derek and Kellie earned their highest score this season, Week 5, with all the judges agreeing for a change on the quality of their dancing.
• Len even remarked that with their kind of dancing, Derek and Kellie will be headed to the finals. Fingers crossed. 🙂
• This is Derek’s 11th season on the show, and to date, in 16 seasons, Derek’s record remains intact for being the only pro to take all of his partners past the halfway mark in the competition.
Collage – Week 5.
WEEK 6 – Stevie Wonder Night
• For the 1st time this season, Derek and Kellie claimed the top of the Leaderboard all by themselves, earning a 54 out of 60 for the night. Wowza!
• With choreography that pleased even hard-nosed Judge Len, Derek and Kellie performed a standard Quickstep that was classy, sharp, and really, really quick.
• And finally………….from Len a 10! Len called Derek and Kellie’s Quickstep the best dance he’s seen in Season 16. 🙂
• Bruno added another 10 to the score, and these 10’s were Derek and Kellie’s first 10’s of the season.
• In addition, with 70’s costuming, and with Derek’s signature group-synchoronization, Derek and Kellie’s Team Samba won the team competition. A good night for our couple.
• Derek’s record of winning team dances remains in tact. This is his 9th win, despite that this was Derek’s lowest team score ever (25).
• Derek promised Kellie a new pair of shoes, if they got a 10. Guess he’s buying, but unfortunately for Kellie, Derek said, “Let’s go to the Dollar store.” 🙂
• In another interview with Glamour Magazine, the following conversation ensued:
- Glamour: What kind of shoes are you buying Kellie?
- Derek: Payless! No, I’ll get her some Louboutins or something.
- Kellie: He can buy both me and Julianne [Hough] a pair of shoes!
- Derek: Oh, hell no! That’s like three grand right there!
- Kellie: We’ll go to the clearance rack!
- Derek: I’ll get her some Uggs! 🙂
WEEK 7 – Latin Night
• Derek and Kellie danced a fast, fun, rhythmic, energetic, carnival-worthy Samba this week.
• With the requisite Samba promenades, rolls, voltas, and botafogos, Len was happy……and once again, a 10 from Len.
• And folks, count ’em. That would be two 10’s from Len so far this season. Incredible, huh?
• Here are the things he looks for in a Samba:
- Here is a 44 second video of promenades.
- Here is a 53 second video of rolls.
- Here is a 36 second video of voltas.
- Here is a 18 second video of botafogos and a 14 second one here.
• Len’s praise, once again, was effusive: “It was crisp; it was clean; it was hot, and it was spicy….I thought it was brilliant.”
• Derek incorporated a really neat slow-motion series of promenade runs into the Samba, and also a very complicated final turn that Kellie executed to perfection. Watch here.
•After the first round of dancing, Derek and Kellie tied at 29 with Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas, and had the highest scores for that round.
• Due to Derek and Kellie having the higher cumulative score of the two couples, they escaped the “Dance Off” that the other couples had to participate in.
- Derek and Kellie’s cumulative score: 26
- Aly and Mark’s cumulative score: 25.13
• With “immunity”, Derek and Kellie were able to go pass GO and collect a SAFE for the week. 🙂
• Derek didn’t even seem to realize until the end of the show that “immunity” meant they were safe to move on to Week 8.
• Derek has now taken all of his partners, except one, past the 7th week.
Collage – Week 7
• This week, Derek and Kellie had two dances that Derek tied together into a theme to reflect parallel universes: one light and angelic, the other dark and demonic.
• For the first dance, Derek and Kellie walked through a looking glass to perform a heavenly, ethereal Viennese Waltz.
• For the second dance (a trio dance), they went through the same mirror, but with shattered glass, into a dark, fierce hades, where Derek and Tristan McManus, in a Pasodoble duel, battled for Kellie.
• All three judges sang the praises of the Viennese Waltz, with Carrieann saying, “You took my breath away, it was fantastic. You’re in it to win it.”
• On the Pasodoble, Bruno piped, “That was masterpiece theatre! High drama, so entertaining, absolutely amazing!.”
• Though the audience loved the truly ingenious Paso, Len was not impressed, thinking there was too much theatrics and not enough content.
• Len’s ensuing comments sparked the most dramatic on-air fight in DWTS history between the judges.
• Len even made such a crude statement to Bruno that it was edited out in the west coast version of the show.
• Carrieann later tweeted, “Should have been 2 30’s in the room tonight. Love my judges but boy do we have different opinions sometimes.”
• For 3 seasons in a row, Len has not approved of Derek’s choreography for the trio dances, giving a “7” to each one for lack of authentic dance content, and making it the lowest score each season since the first week. 🙁
• Len disapproved of the Paso, because it didn’t have a variation called the “Salvador”, a move that Len had shown Derek how to do earlier in the week. Derek claimed it was there.
• For the result’s show, Derek choreographed an a-w-e-s-o-m-e, first ever, gravity-defying dance ala Fred Astaire. It was a dance performed in a rotating room, making it seem that Derek and dancer Jaimie Goodwin (SYTYCD) were dancing on the walls and ceiling. Really cool! …. You gotta watch it again here.
• Derek’s sister, Julianne Hough tweeted, “Holy freaking AMAZING! I have the MOST TALENTED brother in the entire universe!” 🙂 Oh, yes! She does.
Collage Week 8
WEEK 9 – Semi-Finals
• It was “kiss and make-up” in the ballroom on Monday night! Head judge, Len Goodman, pseudo apologized for his rant last week towards Derek by helping him to earn his 1st perfect score of the season for his Argentine Tango, and by giving him his only 10 for his Flamenco performance.
• In a good mood, and highly-spirited, Len said: What’s happened in the past is of no consequence; the rest of the competition starts tonight.
• Derek and Len shook hands, and Tom quipped, “I love it when the kids make-up.”
• Derek and Kellie’s passionate, fiery Argentine Tango started in silhouette, where every nuance of the dance is visible.
• As Carrieann pointed out, in silhouette it is possible to see every line, the arch of the neck and the curve of the foot. All is exposed, and she remarked how Derek and Kellie’s dance was done to perfection.
• Len said, “That was fantastic!”
• As a testament to the judges’ feelings about the dance, Derek and Kellie performed an encore of their Argentine Tango on Tuesday night’s show. It is their first encore of the season. How is that possible???
• The Flamenco was Derek and Kellie’s second dance of the night, chosen for them by their fans on Twitter.
• Derek’s Flamenco taps were a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!!!!! Who knew that he could dance that way? Flamenco dancers train for years and years to perfect their art. Derek performed as an experienced “bailarín de flamenco”. 🙂
• Well, it’s off to the FINALS again for Derek! This is Derek’s 6th trip in 11 seasons. Bring on that 4th Mirrorball. ☺ Here we go!!!!!!!
Collage – Week 10
WEEK 10 – The Finals
• It’s a 4th mirror ball for our Derek! He missed out bythismuch last season, but on Monday night, it was redemption time.
• To achieve the win, Derek and Kellie have had a host of memorable and fun dances this season: their rip-roaring fast Quickstep, their Gatsby Foxtrot with Henry and Anna, their trio Pasodoble with Tristan, their Emmy worthy Contemporary Jazz piece, their amazing Argentine Tango, and their spicy, sassy Samba, just to name a few.
• On Monday, they danced the Judge’s Choice, which was a new, and possibly faster version of their original Quickstep, earning a perfect score, and then they had a Cha Cha relay in which they came in 2nd.
• On Tuesday night, they danced an energetic, lively, and fun Insta-Jive, also for which they earned a perfect score.
• But the piece de resistance that trended worldwide and in the US, was their lyrical contemporary Freestyle. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Watch it here.
• All of the judges were in agreement as to the quality of this dance. Carrieann cried, Len gave a standing ovation, and Bruno called it a work of art.
• The song the coupled danced to was the perfect song for pulling us into their performance, and for pulling on our heart strings. Deeply emotional!….Many people were moved to tears. (Song: Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth and Sandé)
• Derek chose to choreograph his freestyle to highlight all of Kellie’s strengths: her flexibility, musicality, dance skill, emotional vulnerability, and her flawless timing.
• This quite frankly may be the best freestyle in the history of the US franchise. It was all over the media the next day. This dance truly helped them to win the season.
• The pair celebrated their victory on Good Morning America, along with the other finalists, where Derek proceeded to miserably lose a contest on how well he knows his partner. ☺
• That’s okay, he worked his magic to help Kellie earn the win; that’s good enough for us.
• Before we put a wrap on this season of DWTS, let’s update some of Derek’s records and accomplishments.
- Derek is the only professional dancer in the history of the 42 worldwide franchises to win four times.
- Prior to this win, he was one of only three in the worldwide franchises to have three wins. (Kym Johnson is one of the three, 2-times in the US, 1-time in Australia.)
- Derek is one of only thirteen professionals in the 42 franchises to have won in back-to-back seasons, S-10 and S-11). (Two others are Cheryl Burke and Julianne Hough.)
- In eleven seasons, Derek has taken 9 of his partners to the semi-finals, and 6 of his partners to the finals for 4 wins.
• Will Derek return next season to Dancing With the Stars? We just don’t know. Stay tuned!
• This is a wrap on Season 16. It’s hard to believe that 10 weeks have flown by so quickly. Thanks so much for reading each week. ☺
• Season’s Points: 411/450 Season Average: 27.40
Derek & Kellie’s Weekly Dance Scores
Click on the Dance Name to see a video of the dance
|1||Cha Cha||7-7-7=21||2nd Place, tied with 2 other couples – no elimination|
|2||Jazz||9-8-9=26||1st Place, tied with 1 other couple – SAFE|
|3||Jive||8-9-8=25||2nd Place, behind two couples tied for 1st. – SAFE|
|4||Rumba||9-8-9=26||2nd Place, tied with 1 other couple. – SAFE|
|5||Foxtrot||9-9-9=27||2nd Place. SAFE|
|6||Quickstep||9-10-10=29||1st Place. SAFE|
|Team Samba||8-9-8=25||1st Place.|
|7||Samba||9-10-10= 29||3d Place for the night. Earned Immunity. SAFE|
|8||V. Waltz||9-9-10=28||3rd Place. SAFE|
|9||Argentine Tango||10-10-10=30||2nd Place, with 2 couples tied for 1st. SAFE|
|10||Quickstep||10-10-10=30||1sr Place out of 4 couples – WON Season 16|
|Relay Cha Cha||4/5|