We have a winner! Tuesday night's Dancing With the Stars finale had it all: a final fusion dance challenge, a reunion of all 12 of this season's contestants, and, most importantly, the crowning of the show's newest mirrorball champion.
Yes, despite all the fabulous fluff and filler (more on that in a minute), the night was about the final three couples — Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, and Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas. At the end of the evening, a winner was crowned — the 18th in the series — and it was an emotional moment for sure. After a final "24 Hour Fusion Challenge" to earn the last of the judges' points, Meryl Davis and pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy were announced as the latest Dancing With the Stars mirrorball trophy winners. Purdy and Hough took second place in the competition.
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While it was ultimately Davis's big night, the mirrorball win was a long time coming for Chmerkovskiy, who was beginning to seem like the Susan Lucci of TV ballroom competitions. With 13 previous seasons of the show under his belt, the Ukrainian pro dancer repeatedly missed out on the mirrorball trophy in the past. (He landed in second place in Season 5 and in Season 12 with celeb partners Melanie Brown and Kirstie Alley, respectively).
But Chmerkovskiy's partnership with Davis was a beautiful one. The adorable ice dancer helped transform the outspoken, gruff DWTS pro into a bona fide teddy bear this season, and their chemistry was undeniable. Davis didn't comment when the winner's announcement was made, but instead turned to her partner and said, "It's all you."
"It's just plastic, but it means so much," Chmerkovskiy said of his long-awaited DWTS trophy. "And when it's lasted a decade of running after, it means so much more, and to do it with Meryl is a dream come true. There's a reason why it didn't happen before. This was meant to happen with this one."
See the winning pair's Argentine Tango:
The two-hour season finale also featured the return of last season's mirrorball champ Amber Riley, musical performances by everyone from Season 18's own Cody Simpson to rapper Iggy Azalea (her duet pals Charli XCX and Ariana Grande were also in the house), and encore performances of some of this season's most memorable dances, including Charlie White and Sharna Burgess's darling Disney dance to the Mary Poppins song "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." (Fun fact: The peppy Olympic ice dancer didn't drop his cane this time, but he did bust his partner's umbrella!)
Incidentally, after the winning couple's final dance — a foxtrot/cha cha fusion — Len Goodman dropped a bit of a bombshell during his critique: "This might be my last season," the longtime judge said. "And if it is, I couldn't wish for a better dance to watch to finish up with."
Watch Davis and Chmerkovskiy's emotional Freestyle dance:
Here are the scores from the final dance round on Dancing With the Stars:
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough — Argentine tango/Cha cha (30 out of 30 points, 90 finale points total)
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Foxtrot/Cha cha (30 out of 30 points, 89 finale points total)
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas — Quickstep/Samba (27 out of 30 points, 78 finale points total)
Season 19 of Dancing With the Stars returns to ABC in the fall.
- Sports & Recreation
- Maksim Chmerkovskiy
- Meryl Davis
- Derek Hough
- Candace Cameron Bure
- Mark Ballas
- Amy Purdy