Maksim Chmerkovskiy opens up about his long journey to win his first Mirrorball Trophy, and Meryl Davis talks about their 'real-life friendship.'
"Dancing with the Stars" season 18 winners couldn't hide their excitement to take home the Mirrorball Trophy. In an interview with Access Hollywood backstage after the show, Meryl Davis said, "I think we're equally as happy." She added, "I think we've gone through such an amazing journey, but it's been a much longer journey for him," referring to her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
The victory was indeed more special for Maks who had longed for it since he first joined the show in 2006. "It takes so much effort to get to this point that we're both equally happy," the Ukrainian pro dancer said. "For me, it's a long time coming. There [are] a lot of people that wanted to see this happen and I'm very happy that they finally get that, 'Yes! We did it,' because they're the ones who called. They're the ones who voted."
Taking it to Twitter to share her joy after the win, Meryl said, "Thank you all for the incredible support.... I'm completely overwhelmed. @MaksimC and I have been so fortunate to share this journey w/ you!"
The two's chemistry was clearly seen during the competition and Maks admitted in a taped rehearsal played in the season finale that he'd got the hots for the figure skater. Speaking about their relationship, Meryl said, "We've developed a real life friendship and just because the show ends, doesn't mean our relationship is gonna end."
Asked if the recently concluded season would be the last for him, Maks said, "I have no idea, but, you know, maybe. ... I can't do this for 20 years. There's not been a show that has been on the air that long. I was talking to Cheryl [Burke] yesterday and, you know, she's done it 18 times. It's crazy to me.
He continued, "[The] first thing I said to Derek [Hough] was, 'I don't know how you did five times [Derek Hough has won five times on 'DWTS'], the sheer effort and energy that it takes.' I'm an emotional person. I may not seem that way, but I'm an emotional person. I take on a challenge of the person. I don't just go show up for work for a couple of hours and check out. It's three months. I haven't had a haircut, I haven't done anything, I wore the same pair of pants. It's exhausting."
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough finished in the runner-up position, and Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas placed third. James Maslow, who was one of fans favorites, and his partner Peta Murgatroyd didn't not make it to the final 3 and their fans were not happy.
Some people claimed glitches on Facebook voting caused votes for James and Amy to be counted towards Meryl and Maxim, but a rep for "DWTS" denied this. The rep claimed the votes were all counted correctly despite the apparent error.