After a dramatic season of incredible competition in the ballroom, “Dancing with the Stars” has crowned its Season 18 winners.
(Spoiler Alert! This story contains the results of Tuesday’s Season 18 “DWTS” finals.)
Olympic gold medalist Meryl Davis and her pro partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, have taken home the mirrorball. Tuesday night’s victory marks the first ever win for Maks.
The pair beat out Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, who came in second, and Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas, who took third.
The huge moment saw Maks’ brother, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and his friend, Tony Dovolani, jumping up and down on stage and running up to their pro pal.
Even Meryl was elated for Maks, and encouraged him to speak after “DWTS” host Tom Bergeron revealed the news.
“It’s all you,” she graciously said.
“Aww, man, it’s just plastic, but it means so much,” Maks said. “And when it’s [happened after a] decade of running after, it means that much more. And to do it with Meryl is a dream come true. There’s a reason it didn’t happen before – it’s because this was meant to happen with this one.”
Before Meryl and Maks were crowned Season 18 champs, Tuesday’s finale included one round of competition, and each pair stepped up their game, performing a 24-hour fusion dance. Each team was given (after Monday night’s show) two different styles of dance, with just 24 hours to prepare.
Amy and Derek went first, as they combined fast footwork and sexy moves in their Argentine tango and cha cha fusion.
“What makes you so special is you’re uplifting,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said.
“All of the things that you showed us in all of the dancing, you always uplift us and Derek, I want to say to you as well, we’ve talked about Maks and Meryl’s partnership. Your partnership has been fantastic too,” she added as Amy and Derek earned a perfect score, bringing their two night total to 89 out of a possible 90 points.
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas hit the stage next with a 24-hour quickstep/samba fusion that delighted the judges.
“You’ve just kept the faith, you’ve kept going. Okay, sometimes not top of the leaderboard, but I’ll tell [you], you’re top with the fans. … Great fusion,” judge Len Goodman said.
Candace and Mark earned 27 points for a two-night total of 78 out of 90.
And finally, it was Meryl and Maks, who took the stage last with their foxtrot/cha cha fusion that delighted the crowd so much that Carrie Ann Inaba had trouble having her praise for the pair heard over the cheers.
Eventually, she got to tell them they were, for her, “the best part of the season.”
And Len hinted he might leave the show, but if he does, Meryl and Maks gave him an amazing sendoff.
“This may be my last season and if it is, I couldn’t wish for a better dance to watch to finish up with. You are great,” Len said.
Meryl and Maks were given their third perfect score of the two-night finals, for a full 90 out of 90.
-- Jolie Lash