Week after week, Kellie Pickler is wowing the "Dancing With the Stars" judges with her natural dance ability, strength and grace and Monday night's (April 1) performance to "Footloose" was no exception. The panel was so thrilled with her routine with dance partner Derek Hough that Len Goodman dubbed her the night's Prom Queen. (Watch a clip below.)

"Oh my goodness, that was so sweet," Kellie said backstage. "I was just so shocked that we got a 9. I'm very happy about that! I'm not complaining at all."

Of course when you rarely miss a beat, the expectations of greatness get higher each week. So how do Kellie and Derek stay out of their own way and keep dancing towards that mirror ball trophy?

"Each week is so different from the last, you kind of have to just go with a clean slate," she admits. "We're starting over from square one and it's a whole new dance, a whole new routine, a whole new style – everything."

Next week, the duo will be dancing the Rumba and Kellie will have a special someone in the audience.

"Kyle (Jacobs, her husband) was here for the first show," she says. "He's coming in for next week, too. He's so excited. It's so great that I have his love and support."

And while it's unlikely that Kellie will be eliminated from the competition any time in the near future given her stellar scores and devoted fan base, she already has plans for her return to Nashville when the show is over.

"This show has helped me in so many ways --just taking chances and not being afraid to put yourself out there. It's a lot like 'Idol' in the sense that it is a voting competition, but it's so different since ... when I did 'Idol' that's when I was trying to push through with my career, and this is just so outside of the box for me. I'm actually discovering something that I love that I didn't think I would love as much as I do. I knew it was going to be hard, but I'm actually really passionate about it. I hope that comes through. I really want to do great. I love it. I'm so serious about after the show finding someone in Nashville to work with for fun. It's so important to make sure you have joy in your life."

"Dancing With the Stars" airs on Mondays at 8:00 PM ET and Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET on ABC.



Watch a Clip From Prom Night on 'DWTS'

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