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'DWTS' Finale Recap: Which Dancing Duo Won The Mirror Ball?

6/17/2014

WARNING: DWTS Spoilers Ahead

The Season 18 finale of ABC's Dancing With The Stars saw some massively impressive performances from the three remaining couples and opened with a huge spectacle that saw the return of all the season's couples. However, after all the judges' scores and audience votes were tallied, one dancing duo walked away with the mirror ball into DWTS history.

It was a tough battle between celebrated athletes Amy Purdy and Meryl Davis and the beloved former Full House star Candace Cameron Bure, but in the end the dazzling repeat performances by Meryl and her pro-partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy won them the show's ultimate prize.

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DWTS couples Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas, and Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were all given 24 hours to create a brand new routine for the evening.

Amy and Derek went first and their last dance together summed up everything they've worked on during the season. The beauty, the sensuality, and the raw technical skill that Amy has been able to develop and accomplish, even without the use of her legs, was on full display and it blew the adoring judges away. Bruno, Len and Carrie Ann each gave enthusiastic 10s.

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Candace and Mark were up next, dancing an energetic quickstep/samba fusion that elicited cheers from the audience and wild enthusiasm from the judges as well. However, their scores didn't quite live up to the perfection of Amy and Derek, as Bruno, Len and Carrie Ann awarded 9s across the board for a total score of 27.

Meryl and Maks were the last to present their 24-hour routine. Meryl looked stunning in a billowing purple gown, while their natural and undeniable chemistry shined with every expertly orchestrated step. The judges responded to their stunning number with three 10s, making their two-night, three-routine combined score 90 out of 90.

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All three couples took the stage, and the first pair voted off were the fan-beloved-but-lowest-scoring Candance and Mark. Despite coming in third, Candace was excited to have even made it that far. From her own dark horse status during the entire season to Mark's shoulder injury just hours before Monday's show, the couple had battled through a lot, and the duo showed that third place felt like a victory to them.

But in the end, it came down to the Olympic ice dancer and the Paralympic snow boarder, and after a hard fought and inspirational season, it was the undeniable romantic chemistry between Meryl and Maks, and Meryl's almost-professional talent that won them the coveted mirror ball.

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Before the final announcement was made, many of the stars who had been kicked off came back to show they still had the skills they learned from their time teamed up with the pros. Some of them elicited standing ovations, and some left the crowd less enthralled, but everyone seemed to be having a good, relaxed time on the floor.

And, the stars dancing in the competition weren't the only stars that showed up that evening. Season 17 winner Amber Riley performed an energetic number, while pop megastars Iggy Azalea, Ariana Grande and Christina Perri also rocked the house.

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