What a journey this has been for Dancing With the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
He started on DWTS in Season 2 (remember his long hair?) and first got close to winning with with Laila Ali in Season 4. They had to settle for third, but he was then runner-up with the amazing Mel B in Season 5. On Season 10, he got to the Finals with current co-host Erin Andrews, but they ended up taking third — and Maks later admitted he cried when they didn’t win. He got close again with Kirstie Alley in Season 12, and that was the last time he made the Finals. He left after All Stars for a two-season break, and returned this spring with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis, his perfect Goldilocks.
Finally, after 14 seasons with the show, Maks won the Mirror Ball trophy. On last night’s Finale, he said the trophy is just plastic, but it means so much. “And to do it with Meryl is a dream come true. There’s a reason why it didn’t happen before, it’s because it was meant to happen with this one.”
The next day, Season 18’s final four couples were on Good Morning America. Maks was asked what he meant when he said this was the right time. "It felt great,” Maks said. “It felt perfect. You always walk away thinking 'OK maybe I could've done different or not.' There's nothing I could've done different or would've want to, so, it was brilliant."
After the Finale, Maks tweeted his appreciation: “THANK YOU @meryl_davis THANK YOU @dancingabc THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO VOTED FOR US ALL THESE WEEKS!”
Maks previously said it was already decided whether he would be returning to DWTS or not, but when the pros were asked about returning on GMA, they said they wouldn’t know until before the new season. But Meryl did say, in a behind-the-scenes Finale package, that she was honored to share Maks’s final Freestyle on DWTS. That feels like a hint, but we’ll have to see what happens from here.
In the meantime, congrats to M&M — enjoy the moment!
Sources: Good Morning America, Maks on Twitter