On Monday night, tears flowed in the "Dancing With The Stars" ballroom after country singer-songwriter Kellie Pickler and her professional dance partner Derek Hough performed a spectacular super-sized freestyle routine, earning a perfect score of 30 from the reality dance show judges.
Can the couple do it all over again tonight and take home the Mirror Ball winners' trophy for season 16?
They face tough competition from Disney star Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy, who are in the lead by one point heading into Tuesday night's competition and who similarly nailed a perfect score for their freestyle routine. Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas came in third, with Baltimore Ravens' Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff taking fourth place on Monday night's show.
Regarding their performance last night, Hough said he'd thought about using swings, hammocks and silks, but Pickler said they decided to focus on the "power of the dance and not the production."
The dance partners said the success of their routine hinged on mutual trust, particularly necessary for the daring carries and aerial work involved in their routine.
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The performance left DWTS judge Cari Ann Inaba teary-eyed and almost speechless. Even Len Goodman, one of the ABC show's harshest judges, gave the couple a standing ovation. "Good dancing engages the brain; great dancing engages the heart," he said. "You were totally immersed in the dance, in each other. You literally drew everyone into that performance." Judge Bruno Tonioli said the dance was "spellbinding beauty."
Hough later said that he wasn't sure if he wanted to join season 16 of "Dancing With The Stars" but felt he should return because of Pickler.
Be sure to tune in tonight to ABC at 9/8c to see who wins the Mirror Ball trophy. For now, you can watch their "spellbinding performance" here: