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A Perfect Score Helps Kellie Pickler to Third Place on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Kellie Pickler‘s Argentine Tango was perfect, but her Flamenco was stiff. She and ‘Dancing With the Stars’ partner Derek Hough tallied a 58 on Monday (May 13), good for third best on the night behind Jacoby Jones and Aly Raisman, who tied with 59s.

Pickler and Hough did the Tango first (video above), and impressed judges by beginning as silhouettes in front of a crimson backdrop. All three praised her form, with Len Goodman adding extra emphasis after saying that the nasty remarks from last week were forgotten.

“Welcome to the world of the sublime,” Bruno Tonioli said to the dancers (and Goodman in a somewhat good-natured manner). Carrie Ann Inaba add that it was “Absurd that you can attain that level of perfection.” The score: a perfect 30, Pickler’s first of the competition.

Before she began the Flamenco, fans were shown a video of the singer’s backstory, featuring interviews with important people in her life. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood praised the singer-turned-dancer, as did Pickler’s husband Kyle Jacobs, father Bo and her two grandfathers, including Grandpa Ken, who was referenced quite a bit during her time on ‘American Idol.’

“Her self-esteem was very low, and I planted the seed of ‘American Idol,’” Ken Morton tells the camera after explaining the difficult circumstances Pickler was brought up in. She overcame a mother who abandoned her and a father who was an alcoholic and was in and out of jail. Perhaps most refreshing was the brief interview with Summer Miller, the best friend Pickler shaved her head with to show support for her cancer battle. Miller looked healthy as she talked about their childhood together. Her blonde hair is only slightly shorter than Pickler’s.

As for the dancing, Pickler’s Flamenco (video below) was good, but not perfect. Inaba said she thought Pickler stiffened midway through, and Tonioli felt the flow didn’t carry through the entire performance. Hough admitted he’d never done a Flamenco, but viewers at home wouldn’t know it. A sparse musical selection added drama and suspense to the choreography. Much of the focus was on Hough’s tapping, but one dangerous lift at the end left the crowd gasping before erupting in applause.

They earned a 28 for the Flamenco, giving them a 58 total. The dancer with the lowest combined score and vote total will be sent home on Tuesday night. The remaining four will compete in next week’s finals.

Next: Five Reasons Kellie Pickler Will Win 'DWTS'

Watch Kellie Pickler’s Flamenco on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

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