It’s tough to keep track of front-runners on “Dancing with the Stars” Season 16. After all, the audience votes are the real determination of that. But it’s always good to try, and Kellie Pickler is the “DWTS” front-runner of week 2.

Why does Kellie deserve the title over the others? After all, both Zendaya and Aly Raisman turned in brilliant performances, while Jacoby Jones was as entertaining as in week 1. Kelly Pickler, however, stood out for the sheer surprise of her jazz dance with partner Derek Hough.

In week 1, Kellie and Derek gave us a solid but not stunning debut. The former “American Idol” country singer earned 21 points for her cha cha, landing the couple in a three-way tie for 2nd place. No one was thinking elimination, but no one was thinking about Kellie as a winner either.

Week 2 changed all that. Given the chance to perform an odd but beautiful modern jazz routine, Kellie and Derek stepped it up. The dance looked almost simple, but it wasn’t. And it was expertly performed by each of the blond-haired dancers. As “DWTS” judge Len Goodman put it, “Last week was a spark. This week is a fire.”

The question now becomes: Can Kellie Pickler keep that fire burning throughout the next few weeks?

Posted by:Laurel Brown