Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were chosen as the winners of this season of 'Dancing with the Stars.' (Kelsey McNeal / ABC)
The judges and viewing audience agree that Meryl Davis and her professional dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s mix of passion and talent made them the clear winners of this season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
The Michigan-based Olympian was lifted on the shoulders of her peers and handed the mirror ball trophy Tuesday at the end of a two-hour finale. The season closer included performances by past contestants and singers like Iggy Azalea, Christina Perri, Ariana Grande and last season’s winner, Amber Riley of “Glee.”
“It’s just plastic, but it means so much,” said Chmerkovskiy, who has been on the show for 10 years but has never won. “To (win) with Meryl is a dream come true. There’s a reason why it didn’t happen before, because it was meant to happen with this one.”
“Meryl from day one has been incredible,” said pro Derek Hough, who was Riley’s partner last season and has won “Dancing with the Stars” five times. He came in second this season with paralympian Amy Purdy. “(Meryl is) an incredible dancer, she’s a trained athlete and I would expect nothing less from her. What I’ve been more surprised about is has been she’s been able to bring out Maks as being a calming presence.”
Throughout the season Meryl and Maks have dominated the game, earning the highest judges’ score more often than not. They were atop the leader board almost constantly, and their last five performances earned them perfect scores.
Davis and her olympic ice dancing partner Charlie White danced together briefly during the finale, too. White was eliminated in week nine, placing fifth. He also reprised his performance of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with partner Sharna Burgess.
Purdy and Hough came in second, with “Full House” star Candace Cameron Bure and pro partner Mark Ballas in third.
While commenting on Maks and Meryl’s final dance, judge Len Goodman hinted that he may not be back next year.
“I’m not saying this is true, but this might be my last season, and if it is I couldn’t wish for a better dance to watch to finish up with,” he said to Davis. “You are great.”