Sochi Olympics ice dancing gold medalist Meryl Davis and her professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were crownedDancing with the Stars' eighteenth-season ballroom winners during Tuesday night's live finale results show on ABC.
"Oh man! [The mirror-ball trophy] is just plastic but it means so much. And when it's lasted a decade of running after [it], it means that much more. And to do it with Meryl is a dream come true. There's a reason it didn't happen before, because it was meant to happen with this one," Maks said of his partner.
Meryl and Maks -- who finally claimed his first victory after serving on the show as a pro for 14 seasons -- hugged each other, along with their fellow contestants, onstage amidst all the hype and chaos surrounding the couple's big win. Both Meryl and Maks then celebrated on the shoulders of their castmates.
Meryl and Maks were revealed to be Dancing with the Starschampions based on the combination of the judges' scores they had received over the course of Monday and Tuesday night's three rounds of competition and their share of the home viewer votes that were cast immediately following Monday night's final performance show.
Double-amputee snowboarding champion Amy Purdy and her pro partner Derek Hough finished in second place.
"The whole experience is incredible, and I give Derek so much credit taking on this challenge, not knowing what to expect but [still being] fully committed to it and fully passionate about it -- and same with the show in general. The producers had no idea what to expect, and I think we're all just really excited about this experience and grateful," Amy said following her last dance on the show.
Candace Cameron Bure, an actress and former Full House star, and partner Mark Ballas claimed third place.
"I think I already won. This was a huge accomplishment. I am so thrilled to be in third place in this competition," Candace said.
"Just incredible," Mark said of his experience with Candace. "I've made an amazing friend. She's an incredible woman. We've laughed, we had our ups and downs, but we made it through. It was a complete joy and honor to get to know you and I know we'll stay in touch and be great friends. I've had a blast. Thank you so much."
Amy and Derek finished in second place on the combined leaderboard with 89 total points. Candace and Mark came in third place with 78 total points.
During Monday night's broadcast, the Top 4 finalists -- which had also included James Maslow and his pro partner Peta Murgatroyd -- and their respective partners danced in two rounds of competition -- a previously-performed routine the judges wanted each celebrity to improve upon and the fan-favorite freestyle.
Meryl and Maks finished in first place on Monday night's judging leaderboard after earning 60 out of 60 total points. Amy and Derek followed closely behind them with a total score of 59 points. Candace and Mark landed in fourth place on the leaderboard with 51 points. James and Peta, who had finished the night in third place, were eliminated at the end of Monday night's broadcast.
For a more detailed description of each couple's scores and routines from Monday night's performance show, click here.
Tuesday night's finale featured the Top 3 couples each performing one last quickly-rehearsed "24-hour fusion dance," which combined two different styles of ballroom dance, in the hopes of bettering their original judges' scores.
Meryl and Maks danced a foxtrot and cha cha fusion which received 30 out of 30 points from the judges. Amy and Derek danced an Argentine tango and cha cha fusion, which was also apparently worthy of 30 points in the judges' eyes. Candace and Mark took the stage with a quickstep and samba fusion, earning them 27 additional points.
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