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Kellie Pickler Dances the ‘Hot Trot’ on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

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After what Kellie Pickler called her most frustrating week of rehearsals, she and partner Derek Hough earned their highest scores ever Monday night (April 15) on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ It was the duo’s first ballroom dance, and they did the foxtrot to an uptempo version of ‘It Had to Be You.’

A new twist this week found all competitors dancing alongside two additional pros during portions of the routine to give viewers at home a chance to spot mistakes. The challenge was judge Len Goodman’s idea, and it paid off for Pickler. “That wasn’t a foxtrot, that was a hot trot,” he told the two blond dancers. “You put the ‘oo’ in smooth.”

Having Henry Byalikov and Anna Trebunskaya at rehearsals proved to be a significant advantage. Before they arrived to work with Pickler and Hough, the country singer was really struggling in her partner’s eyes. At times Hough would curse, walk away angry or shout, “Why are you making this mistake?”

Pickler said that Trebunskaya helped her smooth out her movements, and once she hit the dancefloor she and Hough were the epitome of grace and balance. The ballroom dance was not without personality. An adorable kewpie doll waddle midway through let everyone know they don’t take themselves that seriously.

Overall scores were higher than in previous weeks. In addition to Team Pickler’s 27, high marks were given to Zendaya (29), Jacoby Jones (26) and Aly Raisman (25). At the bottom were comedian Andy Dick and D.L. Hughley with scores of 18. Hughley struggled to connect by the hips with his tango, saying, “There’s only one way I know how to do that.”

The contestant with the combined lowest score and vote total will be sent home Tuesday night (April 16). The Band Perry is set to take the stage to perform their hit song ‘Better Dig Two.’

Next: 5 Reasons Kellie Pickler Will Win 'DWTS'

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