‘Dancing with the Stars’ Finale: Was Something Fishy With the Voting?

A Voting Snafu May Have Affected the Season 16 Results when Some Viewers’ Votes Weren’t Counted

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‘Dancing with the Stars’ Finale: Was Something Fishy With the Voting?
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(Kellie Pickler)

The "Dancing With the Stars" Season 16 results are in -- country singer Kellie Pickler and her pro partner Derek Hough were crowned the champions -- but this season's mirrorball win didn't come without controversy.

While the blonde dancing duo nailed their all-important freestyle dance and were worthy contenders for the title all season -- alternately trading leaderboard top spots with Disney star Zendaya Coleman and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy -- a voting glitch for the show's finale put a slightly scandalous spin on their win.

During Monday's live East Coast broadcast, host Tom Bergeron announced that the ABC.com website was down. Viewers in that time zone were instructed to vote for their favorite couple via texting, calling, or on Facebook.

When the website was eventually restored later that night, viewers clamored online to log their votes. Frontrunner Zendaya Coleman even tweeted to her fans, "Facebook and abc.com are back online. Don't forget to vote that way too…u register with email then u will get 5 votes!!"

But on Tuesday night's finale show, Tom Bergeron announced that due to the East Coast voting glitch, in fairness to all of the finalists, none of the ABC.com votes would count.

According to Today.com, pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy's reaction to the news of the voting snafu was: "That's bull----! Well, good luck to everybody."

While the timing of the technical difficulty couldn't have been worse, East Coast viewers were ultimately given instructions on how to log their votes. In fairness to voters, those who later got through to the ABC.com website and were able to log votes that way should not have been discounted. There were alternate ways for everyone to vote, so why did the network scrap the website votes?

With this season's tight race in particular, every viewer vote mattered, especially since Kellie and Zendaya were neck in neck on the judges' leaderboard. (The Disney star scored one point higher than the "American Idol" alum on the finale night dances.)

The Hollywood Reporter noted that not all of the finalists seemed concerned by the voting glitch, reporting that backstage at the show, gymnast Aly Raisman was overheard saying that she was pretty sure that all of her fans had voted on Facebook. The Olympic gold medalist was the first one eliminated from the competition on Tuesday night.

After the finale results were revealed, Val Chmerkovskiy tweeted, "It was always about the dancing. First and foremost. And always will be Win or lose. Tnx to @Zendaya you got a small taste of what its about."

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