Dancing with the Stars champ Meryl Davis knows the importance of chemistry. In fact, she thinks the romantic energy between her and partner Maks Chmerkovskiy was certainly a key to her claiming the Mirrorball trophy.
"We definitely have chemistry on the dance floor and that plays a really big part," Davis tells TVGuide.com. "As an ice dancer, I'm a performer of a different kind and I certainly understand how important it is. I think the friendship we have and the relationship we built through the course of the show definitely helped us establish it on the dance floor as well."
When Davis wasn't being hounded about her love life, she was working to step outside of her comfort zone, unlearn techniques she mastered on the ice and prove that just because she's an Olympic gold medalist she didn't have the competition in the bag. Find out which dances gave her trouble, what surprised her most about the show, her first stop when she gets back home to Michigan and more!
As you got closer to the end, did you put extra pressure on yourself to win it for Maks since he had never won before?
Meryl Davis: Absolutely. I definitely wanted that for him. In terms of the dancing ability, that was all on me. I wanted to try to contribute [with] my capabilities and so I was nervous for that reason.
Was there a week when you realized, "We have this in the bag"?
Davis: I certainly knew it was anyone's game from the beginning, but I think from week to week I realized more that was the case. People would be going home that we weren't expecting, whether it was Danicaand Val or Charlie and Sharna. So, you think if this couple isn't going to win, they'll at least be around up until a certain point, but with the combination of the audience and judges' vote there was no predicting.
Is there any side to you or Maks you think viewers didn't get to see?
Davis: No. We were having a very real experience, and I think that's part of why this show is so appealing. You're following people on a real journey and having real challenges and forming real friendships and people were seeing what we were going through.
Why do you think people are so crazy about finding out what's going on with you and Maks?
Davis: Were people crazy about it? I mean, we've definitely been asked it a lot.
How do you think working with Maks might change how you approach routines with Charlie?
Davis: Just from a basics standpoint, learning the different styles of dance I did can only help. I've taken ballet, but I've never danced on the floor for the sake of dancing on the floor. I'll take a lot back on the ice with me.
You talked a lot about coming out of your shell. Will that also change your partnership with Charlie?
Davis: I was very shy when I was younger, but I haven't been shy for many years now. But this additional experience will definitely help.
What was the major difference you found between working with Maks vs. Derek?
Davis: They are two very different people with different personalities, but both are insanely brilliant. It's funny, I worked with the two of them at the same time for the team dance and I had been telling Maks that seeing the two of them interact and suggest choreography to one another was such a cool experience to see.
What was the most difficult routine?
Davis: The Latin dances for me were, by far, the most challenging. Not only was the character outside of my comfort zone, but the movement with the hip action was incredibly challenging. I'm comfortable with movement ... but it's so polar opposite of how I move on the ice. I was trying to break habits I formed from however many years.
What was the most surprising thing about the show?
Davis: I met so many amazing people on the show and I wasn't notexpecting it, but I wasn't coming into the show thinking [I would]. I also learned so many different things from the pros. Talking to Sharna andPeta and Henry, they're just amazing people with so much to give and so much to share that I'm coming away from this experience most appreciative of the things I didn't expect to have coming in.
First thing you're doing when you get home?
Davis: Seeing my family. I came straight from the Olympics to the show; my life has been utterly insane, especially since January. So getting a chance to go to my parents' house and have dinner with my family is exactly what I want to do.
Are you happy that Meryl and Maks won?
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