Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy Win Dancing with the Stars
After a night of big-name musical performances, a surprise announcement from a judge, and dances from every couple, it was time to name the winner of season 18 of Dancing with the Stars.
Up for the mirror ball trophy were season frontrunners Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, along with Amy Purdy and Derek Hough and Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas.
After the three couples danced their fusion routines that combined two different ballroom styles, Bure was eliminated first, followed by Purdy.
That meant Winter Olympic gold medal ice dancer Davis took the Dancing crown – and made Chmerkovskiy a first-time pro champ.
“It means so much,” Chmerkovskiy said after the big announcement. “If you do it with Meryl, it’s a dream come true. There’s a reason it didn’t happen before. It was meant to happen with this one.”
During the night’s final dances, Davis and Chmerkovskiy got the most praise from the judges.
“The best part of the season for me was you two,” Carrie Ann Inaba told the pair. The other judges agreed and gave them a perfect 30 out of 30.
Purdy and Hough also received a flawless score, with judge Bruno Tonioli telling the Paralympian, “Your dancing is right up there with the best.”
Bure and Ballas’s routine got a 27, but Tonioli raved about the actress, saying, “You’ve always been adorable, charming, genuine.”
The night was full of highlights, but got off to a rocky start with an awkward performance by Iggy Azalea, who pulled out her earpiece and seemed understandably upset after what appeared to be a technical glitch.
Other musical acts for the night included Ariana Grande (who performed her hit “Problem”). Last season’s champ Amber Riley also took center stage.
Head judge Len Goodman, meanwhile, made some news of his own, announcing that this season may be his last.