They saved the best for last on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
West Bloomfield ice dancer Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed the last dance of the season tonight and clinched the championship with another perfect score.
“It was all you,” Meryl said to Maks as they collected the coveted Mirrored Ball trophy.
The final three couples danced just once for judging in the 24-Hour Fusion Challenge — “which sounds like a deodorant,” co-host Erin Andrews said — with just a day to prepare for it.
Meryl and Maks got a perfect 30 and raves from the three judges for their fusion of a fox trot and cha-cha, just like they did for both of Monday night’s dances.
“I’m not saying this is true, but this may be my last season, and if it is, I couldn’t ask for a better dance to watch to finish up with,” Len Goodman said. “You are great.”
“Watching you two is like when you rediscover the passion and the excitement of your first love. Dance,” Bruno Tonioli said. “Thank you.”
“Season 18 has been phenomenal. But the best part of the season to me, honestly speaking, was you two. You are marvelous, Meryl, marvelous.”
Meryl and Maks’ combined scores for the three dances was 90, one point better than the runners-up, Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy and pro partner Derek Hough. Third-place Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas scored 78.
But it’s not that simple on “Dancing.” Meryl and Maks weren’t officially the champs until host Tom Bergeron said they were, because the judges’ scores also are combined win fan voting.
Amy Purdy was amazing. The fact that she can even walk is inspirational. She not only danced competitively, in most seasons she would have been good enough to win.
But Meryl Davis was just too good. She’s essentially a professional dancer. She’s been training and competing as an ice dancer since she was ten years old, and she just got done taking a gold medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics along with her long-term skating partner and DWTS competitor Charlie White. (He finished fifth.)
Meryl Davis did something that regular viewers of DWTS know is incredible – she made Maks seem likeable. Over the years he has been on the show he has developed a well-deserved reputation as a bad boy with a bad attitude. He even left the show for a while, but returned this season to partner with Meryl.
The two have an obvious chemistry, leading many people to speculate that the are (or soon will be) dancing between the sheets. (When asked they both give coy answers.) On the other hand people suspected the same thing about Meryl and Charlie, despite their adamant insistence that they were just friends.
Every season on DWTS there are a few “stars” that simply don’t belong in a dance competition and are quickly eliminated. There are a few who aren’t bad, and that may hang around for a while more because of fan support than the technical quality of their dancing. Often there are one or two stars who turn out to be surprisingly good, and might even make the finals.
But the finalists are easy to spot early on in the season, often on the first show. It was obvious that Meryl and Maks would be finalists right from the start. I think the original plan was to play up the competition between Meryl and Charlie but despite his technical ability he just never caught on with the fans.
Meryl is an amazing dancer. Despite her petite size and girlish voice she is a fierce competitor. When most stars are dancing they focus on their moves and forget to control their facial expressions. Meryl executed complex moves while remembering to maintain a smile and stare passionately into Maks’ eyes.
That’s the advantage 17 years of training gives you.
BTW: Ever wonder why they never announce the audience voting results?