It was close but no cigar for Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who came in third place during the season 16 finale of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
On the two-hour season closer, which was broadcast on May 21, Jones and his professional partner Karina Smirnoff were edged out by country music singer Kellie Pickler, who came in first place.
Disney Channel star Zendaya finished second, while Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman came in fourth place.
Despite his loss, Jones remained in high spirits following the competition and praised his partner's persistence.
"Out of all my trainings that I've had, I've never had a woman push me like she did," he said during the show.
The three finalists were given an instant salsa dance and were scored by the show's judges. Those scores were then added to the contestants' scores from their performances from the previous episode. Viewer votes were also factored into the contestants' final score.
Heading into the finals, Jones had the lowest score, but fans of the athlete's high-flying, energy-infused style ushered him into the top three during the finale.
The judges highlighted Jones' improvement over the course of the show and praised his determination.
"It's not where you start, as you know. It's where you finish," judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. "And tonight, once again, you have proven why you are still here. You are a champion."
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