dancing with the stars season 18 finale winner meryl davis maksim chmerkovskiy abc 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 18 finale: Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy win the Mirror Ball

“Dancing with the Stars” Season 18 crowned its winners, Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, at the end of the second part of the finale on Tuesday (May 20). The couple beat Amy Purdy and Derek Hough as well as Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas for the Mirror Ball.

Although one of the dominant couples throughout the season, Meryl and Maks were hardly the certain winners going into the final episode. Amy and Derek had the inspirational story and lots of charm on their side, while Candace and Mark mixed huge fan support with constant cheeriness. But Meryl and Maks managed to hold them off. Amy and Derek had to settle for being runners up, while Candace and Mark landed in third place.

What got Meryl and Maks the win? A streak of perfect dances in the finale — the couple received 30 points for each of their final three performances — certainly helped bring them the Mirror Ball. Add in a certain adorableness factor with Maks actively adoring a partner for possibly the first time ever, and voters were certain to like this pair as well.

Being an Olympic gold medalist for ice dancing probably didn’t hurt Meryl either.

Posted by:Laurel Brown