The Dancing With the Stars Season 18 Mirror Ball trophy needs a forever home, and it will find it with one of these five couples: James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd, Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas, Charlie White and Sharna Burgess, Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, or Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

Each couple has a shot to win the spring 2014 season, for different reasons. Here are three reasons why Meryl and Maks could be the ones to take it home.

1. Meryl is the best dancer of the season. The “best” dancer doesn’t always win DWTS, but a great dancer always does. Meryl is an extraordinary dancer. She has topped the leaderboard more than anyone else this season, and it’s not hard to see why. She even stands like a ballerina princess! Yeah, she’s a champion ice dancer, but so is Charlie, and she just has a little something extra. Besides, there were five athletes this season, plus young pop stars who dance choreography on stage, and others with previous dance experience. Meryl just shows it the most because she’s a vision to watch. We love her with Maks but she and Val Chmerkovskiy were also stunning on Switch Up Week. She’s equally strong in classy, sexy, emotional, and even “dirty” dances — and she makes them all look effortless, even though they aren’t. When it comes to the Freestyle, Maks could throw anything at her and she would be able to pull it off as well as any pro.

2. Meryl and Maks bring out the best in each other. There are two champions every season — the star and the pro — and fans tend to vote for a strong team. There are a lot of great partnership this season, but M&M have a special spark. They have amazing chemistry, without forcing a showmance angle, and even Len Goodman noted how Meryl is the first celeb who can keep up with Maks.

Longtime fans have come to know Maks, at least on screen, and it’s obvious how much he respects and admires Meryl and enjoys dancing with her. There’s a new spring in his step. They look exquisite together on the dance floor and he’s been able to show some great choreography because he knows he has a student who is not only up to the challenge, but pretty much his equal out there. He’s less stressed than he usually is, and even that one week where he really felt the pressure, she showed her strength for him. She took his hand and talked him through his fears. Maks is still Maks, he’ll always be passionate and outspoken, but she’s thawing him bit by bit, like their own little Beauty and the Beast storyline playing out.

3. It’s Maks’s time. Even if Maks were dancing with Drew Carey, his loyal fans would push for him to win. But he’s not dancing with Drew, he’s dancing with the best. He’s gotten close to winning before, and we thought maybe it would happen with Mel B or Erin Andrewsor Kirstie Alley, but he has never had a partnership like this before. And he knows it. Maks is not one of those pros who gets a strong (physically and emotionally) partner every season, so this feels closest to his moment. If he wins, it will be because he earned it — having learned the lessons he needed to and applied the knowledge he’s gained from so many years with the show. If he doesn’t win, well, he’s still learned a lot and shown a lot of growth this season! That trophy is kind of funny-looking anyway.  

Do you think Meryl and Maks will win this season?

DWTS Season 18 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.