'DWTS': Meryl Davis Wins Championship, Mirror Ball Trophy in Season 18

Good Morning America

ABC News Videos

'Dancing With the Stars' Winners Recount Final Moments of the Show

'Dancing With the Stars' Winners Recount Final Moments of the Show

'Dancing With the Stars' Winners Recount Final Moments of the Show

Now watching

Next video starts in : 7 Play

'Dancing With the Stars' Winners Recount Final Moments of the Show

After 10 weeks of fierce competition and several surprise eliminations, Meryl Davis emerged the champion of season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars” tonight, beating out actress Candace Cameron Bure and paralympian Amy Purdy for the mirror ball trophy.

Davis's pro partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, was elated when co-host Tom Bergeron announced that they had won. He jumped into the air and then hugged and spun Davis around.

The Olympian credited her partner with their big win, and he seemed, uncharacteristically, at a loss for words.

“Oh man! It’s 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,” he said, adding that there was a reason he hadn’t won until now. He said he believed he was meant to win with Davis.

Purdy finished second. Bure, who finished in third place, smiled when she learned the outcome and said she was honored to have gone so far in the competition.

On Monday, the first night of the two-part finale, each couple performed two separate dances: a routine they’d previously performed in a partner switch that judges wanted them to reprise with their own partners, plus the all-important freestyle dance.

On Tuesday, they had to perform another dance in the 24-hour fusion challenge. They had only 24 hours to create and rehearse the routine that mixed two separate dance styles.

The grand finale opened with a dance number featuring all of the dancers who competed this season, and "Big Time Rush" star James Maslow –- who was voted off last night -- was chosen by fans to give an encore of his hip-hop freestyle.

The ballroom and viewing audiences also got to see eliminated contestants perform prior routines Tuesday. Purdy took part in a group dance that she’d missed performing live during the season because of a back injury, and Olympic ice dancer Charlie White performed with his pro partner Sharna Burgess (their routine again included a slight prop malfunction).

White and Davis –- who are Olympic ice dancing partners -- also performed a routine together.

The night also featured a number of pop performances, including by rapper Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX, singer Ariana Grande and “Dancing” cast member Cody Simpson, who performed his hit song, “Surfboard.” Last season’s “Dancing” champion, “Glee” actress Amber Riley, performed her new single, “Colorblind,” and Christina Perri sang “Human.”

Tonight’s Routines

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: The pair’s performance fused the Argentine tango and the cha-cha. Purdy, a double-amputee who has danced on prosthetics throughout the season, continued to dazzle tonight as she has throughout the season. Head judge Len Goodman said she was “without question” a fantastic dancer, and fellow judge Bruno Tonioli said Purdy’s unbreakable spirit and determination were lessons for everyone. Carrie Ann Inaba, the third judge on the panel, said what made Purdy special was that she was always uplifting. Inaba also commended Hough for his partnership of the Paralympian. Purdy earned three 10s for a perfect score of 30 points. Her score was added to her total from last night – 59 – for a two-night total of 89 out of a possible 90 points.

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: Bure and Ballas danced the samba and quickstep. Judges again praised the “Full House” actress for pushing through the highs and lows of the competition to make it to the final. “What a ride it has been,” Tonioli said. “We had ups, we had downs, we had spills, we had thrills, but I tell you, you’ve always been adorable, charming, genuine you listened to us, worked very, very hard, you have improved. Well done!” Goodman said Bure may not always have been at the top of the leaderboard, but he said she was “tops with the fans.” Bure earned three 9s for a total of 27, and a two-night total of 78 out of 90.

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: The Olympic ice dancer’s foxtrot/cha-cha fusion earned her and her partner their accustomed rave reviews from all three judges. Inaba said the entire season 18 had been phenomenal, but added: “the best part of the season to me, honestly speaking, was you two.” Tonioli likened watching Davis and Chmerkovskiy to rediscovering “the passion and excitement of your first love.” Goodman drew a few gasps with his comment: “I’m not saying this is true, but this may be my last season and if it is, I couldn’t wish for a better dance to watch to finish up with. You are great.” Davis earned 30 points. Added to her score perfect 60 from last night, Davis finished with a two-night total of 90 out of a possible 90 points.

The Scores

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 30, 60. Total: 90 (Davis and Chmerkovskiy won the mirror ball trophy.)

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: 30, 59. Total: 89

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: 27, 51. Total: 78

View Comments (24)

Recommended for You

  • Woman Reunited With Purse Allegedly Stolen 14 Years Ago

    Lisa Hall Mazzaglia of Amesbury said she was “stunned” to hear that police in Seabrook, New Hampshire, had her purse after it was found in the trash can of a Seabrook grocery store. "I found this confusing since my purse was sitting in my kitchen," Mazzaglia, a talent agent, told ABC News. …

    Good Morning America22 mins ago
  • Scientology Leader’s Father Ron Miscavige Describes the Moment When He Says He Escaped

    Two hours east of Los Angeles, in Hemet, California, sits a 500-acre Scientology compound known as the “Gold Base.”The Church characterizes the base as a slice of Scientology utopia, with state-of-the-art facilities and gorgeous landscaping.“If you talk to the staff, they'll tell you it's a…

    Good Morning America10 mins ago
  • Apple Will Analyze iPhone of Teen Missing at Sea

    Apple will analyze the recovered iPhone that may hold the key to what happened last summer when two Florida teens disappeared on a boating trip, according to an agreement reached by the teens' parents in court today. The recovered iPhone belonged to 14-year-old Austin Stephanos, who went missing…

    Good Morning America
  • Ariz. School Yanks Poster Some Students Find Offensive

    Officials removed a controversial poster from the Desert Ridge High School library in Mesa, Arizona, Thursday after some students took offense at its message that appears to be a humorous attempt to highlight the school’s dress code. “I don’t get offended easily, but this definitely crossed the…

    Good Morning America
  • Inside President Obama's Smart Gun Announcement

    The Obama administration has released a report outlining a strategy to push smart gun technology, something President Obama called for in his January executive action on gun control.Obama to Announce Executive Actions on Gun ControlWhat Obama's Executive Action Means for Mental Health…

    Good Morning America
  • Patton Oswalt Pays Tribute to His Late Wife Michelle McNamara

    Patton Oswalt paid tribute to his late wife, Michelle McNamara, on Twitter today.McNamara, a crime writer, died last week at home in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported.No cause of death was given."She wrote lines that stung & hummed. 13 years in her presence was happily humbling.…

    Good Morning America
  • Hey! You have to check out this site!

    Millions of singles over age 45 are members of this site already! If you haven’t tried it, just click on the image and start your free registration!

    SeniorPeopleMeet.comSponsored
  • Man Uses Eye-Popping 2D Art to Propose to Girlfriend

    Dan Levine came up with the perfect plan to capture his romantic, eye-popping proposal to longtime girlfriend Cristina Cordova on Sunday. “A few months ago, he contacted me and asked if I could paint both him and his girlfriend,” Meade told ABC News of the exciting endeavor. As they were roaming…

    Good Morning America
  • Russian Fighter Flew a Barrel Roll Within 25 Feet of US Reconnaissance Plane Over Baltic Sea

    In another close encounter with Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, the Pentagon said a Russian Su-27 fighter jet Friday conducted a barrel roll within 25 feet of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane flying in international airspace. It is the third time in as many weeks the…

    Good Morning America
  • Depression in Old Age May Be Linked to Dementia, Study Finds

    The reasons some people are more at risk for developing dementia came into clearer focus today thanks to a new study that suggests a link between depression and dementia. Researchers from Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands found that older people who developed increasingly worse depression…

    Good Morning America
  • Netflix Confirms 'The Punisher' Series

    After starring in "Daredevil" season 2, Jon Bernthal's The Punisher will get his own Netflix series. Locked and loaded," Netflix also changed its main photo to The Punisher symbol. Bernthal shined in season 2 of "Daredevil" as the man taking out (yep, killing) bad guys, compared to Daredevil's…

    Good Morning America
  • Woman Returns Overdue Library Book 67 Years Later

    A grandmother in her 70s recently returned an overdue library book 67 years after it was borrowed, according to Auckland Libraries, the public library system for the Auckland region of New Zealand. The elderly woman visited Auckland's Epsom Library "with a confession" on Wednesday. Based on…

    Good Morning America
  • Prince's Vault Reportedly Drilled Open

    A vault purportedly containing unreleased Prince songs was drilled open, according to ABC News affiliate KSTP-TV. Bremer Trust, the St. Cloud, Minnesota, company given temporary authority over Prince's estate, opened the vault to which only Prince had the code, KSTP-TV added.

    Good Morning America
  • Tiny Kitten Rescued From Manhole in Arizona

    A tiny kitten is now recovering after being rescued from a manhole in Phoenix, Arizona, where she had been trapped for at least three days, according to the Arizona Humane Society (AHS). The rescue started last Friday after a good Samaritan called with concerns about meowing in a storm drain, AHS…

    Good Morning America
  • Will Ferrell 'Not Pursuing' Upcoming Ronald Reagan Comedy

    Earlier this week, it was reported that Ferrell had been cast in "Reagan." The actor was also reportedly set to produce the project. Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease after his presidency, and died in 2004. Reagan's daughter and Michael's half-sister, author Patti Davis, also spoke…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' Actor Mads Mikkelsen Spills Spoilers From New Film

    Earlier this month, we got a look at the first trailer for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." Now, one of the film's stars may have spilled a little too much during an interview. Despite the first clip being released, most of the characters are still enigmas, as with most "Star Wars" films.

    Good Morning America
  • Allison Janney Revives 'West Wing' Character at Real White House Briefing

    "West Wing" actress Allison Janney revived her press secretary duties in a surprise appearance at a White House briefing today. "Josh is out today, he has I believe a root canal," Janney said of press secretary Josh Earnest. Earnest later made his way into the briefing room, after which Janney…

    Good Morning America
  • Graffiti Etched Into Famed Rock Formation at Arches National Park Might Be Irreparable

    Staffers at the Arches National Park in Utah are speaking out against the rise in graffiti after discovering one of the ancient rock formations in the park was vandalized a couple weeks ago -- and the damage might be irreparable. “There has been an enormous problem with graffiti in the past couple…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Mother's Day' Review: It's a 'Hollow and Disappointing' Film That 'Lacks Substance'

    Sadly, that’s the case with "Mother’s Day," the latest of these bloated-cast holiday movies from director Garry Marshall. Like "New Year’s Eve," and "Valentine’s Day" before it, the formula here is pretty simple: Mix one heaping tablespoon of big-name stars with an upcoming holiday, and bake until…

    Good Morning America