Diana Nyad

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Dancing with the Stars' Maksim Chmerkovskiy: "The Show Never Had a Couple Like Meryl and Me"

Makism Chmerkovskiy, Meryl Davis

Seven years after coming thisclose to a win with Mel B. on Dancing with the Stars, Maksim Chmerkovskiy finally has his Mirrorball trophy. His victory with Meryl Davis on Tuesday seemed to be a foregone conclusion, or at least the hot pick, since the cast announcement, but Chmerkovskiy says he had no expectations when he decided to return to the show after taking two seasons off.

Photos: Check out sexiest costumes from Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars


"I really had no expectations. I thought I would last three, four, five weeks," he tells TVGuide.com. "And then Meryl walks in and I go, 'Are you guys serious? There's no way this is my partner.' I was expecting ...
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Dancing with the Stars: What "Mortified" Diana Nyad in Week 1?

Henry Byalikov, Diana Nyad

Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad made headlines last year when she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the assistance of a shark cage. But, she says, preparing to dance a minute-long foxtrot on the Season 18 premiere of Dancing with the Stars last Monday was just as daunting as gearing up for her multi-day open water feat.

"When I would stand on that shore over in Cuba and look out at the horizon, I knew that what was in front of me was going to be at least two, probably more like two-and-a-half nonstop days in the open ocean, with all kinds of obstacles," Nyad, 64, tells TVGuide.com. "And [Monday], as I stood holding [partner Henry Byalikov's] hands, I was thinking, 'You have one minute and six seconds for this foxtrot.' It's just an absurdly different kind of challenge."

Nyad and Byalikov ended up with an 18 from the judges after their routine, which puts them in second-to-last place heading into Week 2. Though Nyad says she felt OK about the dance itself, there was one aspect of the performance that left her "mortified." Check out our interview with Nyad to find out what frustrated her to the point of tears, as well as what she and Henry are working on for this week's cha-cha.

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Dancing with the Stars: 9 Changes to Expect from Season 18

Dancing with the Stars

Last year, Dancing with the Stars reverted back to a one-night format for its 17th season, and as the reality competition heads into its 18th outing, even more big changes are on the way.

"When you're a show reaching its 18th season and its ninth year, I think you have to keep changing things up every so often just to make sure that the experience doesn't become too familiar," executive producer Conrad Green tells TVGuide.com. "It's spring, so it's time for a spring cleaning."

Check out nine big changes coming to Dancing with the Stars this season:

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Dancing with the Stars Reveals Season 18 Cast

Tom Bergeron

Drew CareyCandace Cameron Bure, and Olympic gold medalists Charlie Whiteand Meryl Davis are among the celebrities who are heading to the ballroom for Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars.

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Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lawrence Among Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating People of 2013

Barbara Walters

Miley CyrusKim Kardashian and Kanye West, and the cast of Duck Dynasty are among Barbara Walters' picks for the 10 most fascinating people of 2013.

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