Meet the Cast: Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy
Watch Paralympic Gold Medalist Victoria Arlen and partner Val Chmerkovskiy, ‘team ViVa’ according to Val, show off their personalities and moves. Tune in for the live premiere of Dancing with the Stars Season 25 Monday, September 18 8|7c on ABC.
“There’s a reason it didn’t happen before. It’s because this was meant to happen with this one.”
Olympic champion ice dancer Meryl Davis wins Dancing with the Stars Season 18 with professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, on May 20th, 2014. Davis and Chmerkovskiy hold the record for the highest average score of any contestant (28.40), and are tied for the record number of perfect scores achieved in a season (6). Following his stated departure from the show following this victory, in fourteen seasons of work, Davis is Chmerkovskiy’s first and only win.
Maks and Meryl made Dancing With the Stars Season 18 magical. They sucked me in to every performance that they gave. I will never recover from their freestyle. I’m really grateful to them - they put their all into their dances. Maks was inspired by Meryl - he did his best choreography and dancing this season. This is a compilation of all their dances. Maks and Meryl fans - enjoy!
I like to think that this was choreographed intentionally. That they wanted to bring it back to the way it began, ending their run in the best way possible. The way I saw it was that they ended their last dance the way they ended their first, as if they wished they could go on this journey again, together.
I don’t have words to describe this, but this was beautiful and magical, all in one.
Hey fam! So this is the prologue to my first ever multi-chapter fic! I am so excited to be writing this story and hope you guys like it as much as I like writing it.
As the Months Go By
Meryl Elizabeth Davis Chmerkovskiy had nerves of steel. She was a six-time U.S National champion, two-time World champion, 2010 Olympic silver medalist, and 2014 Olympic gold medalist (among other things) with her partner, Charlie White, as well as the Dancing with the Stars Season 18 winner with her husband, Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The number of things that were able to break those steel nerves could be counted on one hand. What she was doing right now, though, just happened to be one of those things.
So, what could have Meryl Chmerkovskiy’s nerves in such a shamble? A pregnancy test. More than the test itself, was the fact that for the past eight months each test she had taken had turned out to be negative. Meryl wanted nothing more but to be a mother and to fulfill her husband’s dream of becoming a father, but it just wasn’t happening.
Here she was, sitting on their bed waiting to read the test results. Waiting was always the worst. Sometimes she’d sit there with Maks by her side and other times she prefered to do it alone. Either way, the same thoughts always ran through her head. It was some combination of hope that maybe this time they would finally see that pink plus, mixed with the rational part of her constantly reminding her to not get too excited. They had been trying for eight months, so it was bound to happen eventually, right? But on the other hand, they had been trying for eight months and nothing had happened.
Each passing second feels like an hour has gone by. The wait seems as though it will never end. In some ways, though, she doesn’t want it to. Because as long as she doesn’t turn over the test from its face-down position on the sink, there is still hope that it could be positive.
She remembers the last time they tested.It was a month ago and Meryl had decided that she wanted Maks to be with her. There was something telling her that he needed to be there, that this was going to something important that he shouldn’t miss. This time was going to be different- she just had this feeling.
They sat crisscrossed on the bed facing each other with each of their hands intertwined with the other’s. Maks’s thumbs lightly rubbed circles on the back of her hand while Meryl slightly bounced up and down with all the excitement bubbling inside her.
Maks leaned in and gave her a kiss. It wasn’t anything long or passionate, but it was light and sweet. When he pulled back he stared into her sparkling eyes, his lips turning upwards.
“I love you, too,” she said, knowing exactly what his eyes were saying.
Interrupted by the timer on Maks’s phone, they broke apart when Meryl jumped off the bed and raced him to the bathroom. Stopping dead in her tracks at the sink, Meryl looked straight up into his excitement-filled eyes.
“This time is going to be different, babe. I just know it.”
So when they each took half of the stick and flipped it over, she was absolutely crushed to see only one pink line. Sure, they had experienced the pain of negative tests before- seven previous ones to be exact- but she had just been so sure.
Tears immediately filled her eyes and she turned around into Maks’s arms. He picked her up bridal style and brought her back into their bedroom. Maks sat them on their bed with Meryl still in his arms. Her was face hidden in the crook of his neck while rested atop of hers. They stayed there like that with Maks pressing kisses to her hair and Meryl running her hand up and down his back. The only things breaking the silence were her soft sobs and his sniffles.
They sat there, in each other’s embrace for some time. Maybe it had been ten minutes or maybe an hour. Neither of them knew. Breaking the silence were Meryl’s soft words.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered into Maks’s neck.
“Hey, none of that, princess,” Maks said lifting her head from his shoulder so he could look straight into her eyes.
“Meryl, sweetheart, there is no need to apologize. It’s nobody’s fault- especially not yours. You, my love, are perfect. I have hope we will have a child one day. I don’t know when or how, but what I do know is that I love you- all of you.”
“How can you do that?” she asked.
“Do what?” Maks responded, confused.
“Have hope. I feel like I have lost all of it.”
“There is always hope, princess,” he said, kissing her hairline.
Hearing a beeping in the distance of her flashback, Meryl was suddenly brought back to reality. She grabbed her phone and shut the timer off before hesitantly walking into the bathroom. As she reached the sink, she stopped and looked down at the face-down test.
“There’s always hope,” Meryl reminded herself one last time.
Taking a deep breath, she reached down and flipped the test over.
All right. It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these, but lets get started, It’s gonna be a long one….
I’ll start with yesterday, because that’s when all the real fun began. In going back through the postings we’ve gotten today. I do believe that Meryl arrived in New York either Tuesday Evening, or Wednesday Morning (yesterday). I think that Meryl and Maks went to lunch at a restaurant near the DWMSoHo studio called Ariana.
Some thought this might have been dinner last night, but the interior of the restaurant doesn’t match the dinner video.
Now, when this was happening, we still did not know for sure that Meryl was there. The confirmation came yesterday evening at about 7:45 when Maks posted this photo.
Much merriment ensued, to say the least. So much fun knowing that Meryl and Maks were finally together and that she was supporting him and his jewelry business venture. I stay red up way, way too late for two reasons. One, adrenaline, and two, later in the night Alex posted a very short, dark, and shaky snapchat video. It simply had to be recorded, screen-capped, lightened and scrutinized!!
We believe the Dinner happened here, at Mari Vanna
Everyone pretty much agreed that Papa C is at the head on the table, Maks to our right, facing away, elbows on table, hands by his face. The biggest controversy was whether or not Meryl was next to Maks by Papa C or if she was the lady in the beige sweater, a few seats closer to the camera with “four fingers” showing. I do not believe the beige sweater girl is Meryl because she had red fingernails yesterday and red fingernails today in the rehearsal video. Biege sweater lady has no fingernail polish, so I don’t think that’s Meryl.
Which brings us to today…..
So, the morning began with a radio interview with Meryl and Charlie recorded yesterday as a promo for SWDOI. The most significant part for us was Meryl’s answers about Maks.
Interviewer: Meryl, Meryl sweetheart. Still single, yes?
M: I am officially single, yes I am.
I: Okay, I’m sorry. There is something wrong with that.Um
I: I know you and Maks have a very close relationship, but not really a dating relationship. Please explain so I can just fantasize that you two will have the cutest kids together
I: What really is the relationship between you and Maks?
M: Yeah, we got along amazingly well, and yes we do have a very close relationship, we are not dating, but we are quite close, we are amazing friends, and I don’t think that is anything that is going to go away any time soon. You know we talk quite often, we’re a big part of each others lives, but you know, not romantically..“
To save time, I will repost one of my responses to an anon both about this interview, and about Maks’ that happened a few hours later.
I think Meryl was most honest in her interview for the detroit news. It was a fluff piece for her local news station. She said she wanted to keep her private life private. Laughed and blushed and said she didn’t even want to comment on the rumors about herself and Maks.
This interview, on the other hand, was #1. a radio interview (easier to say whatever you want, no facial interaction). #2. An interview specifically about SWDOI, which will be a nationally televised show. #3. Happening right before she’s going to get seen with Maks A LOT for the next 2 weeks.
Honestly, her interview seemed a little staged to me. The interview served it up for her to hit. ”Now you guys are close, but not dating, right?” ( or something close to that. ) I think she got the message out that she wanted to get out.
I would also like to recognize a very smart anon, who pointed out that Meryl was following the Maks People interview script:
Now Meryl was playing on her phone while Maks got ready for his interview:
11:15 Meryl liked 2 fingernail polish pics and a regandoodle with a teddy bear hashtagged haveyouhuggedyourteddytoday and mistletoepup;
11:28 Maks posted another pic of him with the instababes from his photo shoot yesterday "Another pic of these beauties I met yesterday! This @buffalojeans #instababes calendar is amazing!” - probably part of his agreement for this campaign is that he posts some of the pics from the shoot on his IG, just think Meryl might have helped him pick which ones to post;
12:18 Meryl liked a friends LA pic;
12:19 Meryl liked a winter wonderland pic from bestvacations;
12:32 Meryl posted an IG video of Charlie from classroom champs;
Maks at 12:30 p.m. EST on the Women’s Radio Network, by WRNW1’s famous host, Lisa Singer.
Maks: I don’t know what I did right to deserve a friend like Meryl, but, you know, I did my best to make her stay on the show as comfortable as possible and, you know, she came off of, um, 17 year pursuit for a gold metal that she just got and, you know, I was a huge fan and I was a huge fan of her personality. We clicked in a very unlikely way because we’re very different, and so for us to, you know, work together was, it was very, like, people that put us together were watching very cautiously, like, “Will this work? Because it doesn’t seem like it should.” You know.
[Interviewer says something like, “those are the best things that do work, when you have that mix.”]
I think so, too, I think that’s why it did, it was kinda like against all odds type of thing, you know. She helped me a lot, I helped her, you know, she, we’re both better people from this experience, and we realized it very – you know – it was a very real realization. So, you know, not to become friends with someone who you admire and who you have so much, um, amazing, uh, things happen to – because, another thing that people don’t understand is when you’re submerged in the show, it seems like it’s a lifetime. Three months is not three months, it’s a lifetime. You know, you are with that person the entire time. You know, in my case, I get very protective, defensive of this person that I’m with, you know, I try to, um, make sure they don’t make mistakes that I’ve made in the past and, you know, that their stay on the show is as comfortable as possible, which in Meryl’s case was pretty much impossible to do because she was also traveling the entire season, and I was traveling with her.
[Maks talks more about traveling and SOI. Interviewer says “You guys were destined to either fall in love with each other or hate each other and basically kill each other by the end of it, so, we’re glad that you chose the other, we’re glad you’re both still living”]
Maks: “We fell in love but our way…no, you’re right, but it wasn’t love according to what everybody wanted, “Oh my God I want them to have Maks and Meryl babies,” it’s not, it’s not, it doesn’t work like that, and that’s what people needed to understand, too, and I think they did, I think they kinda forgave us for, “Oh my God, I saw you guys and you’re gonna have the biggest wedding of reality TV season”, you know, but, um, it wasn’t, it wasn’t that type of love. It was impossible for that type of love to be born on that show, you know. We needed to, you know, just be ourselves, and we were part of a project, and she’s an athlete as well, you know, she knows what this whole thing is about, um, we’re both going after the same goal. In the process, we became really close friends. And that translated to where we are now, where, you know, ah, anything she wants me to do, I’ll do. Anything that I ask her to do she’s more than happy to, you know, to be part of.
The interview had to sort of steer him toward discussing Sway, which they did and the interviewer gave all the pertinent details about the shows and the website, and did the same for his Cantamessa Man jewelry line. Maks just had to throw in one last thing as they were signing off. Just like during his Michigan radio interview, when Meryl was with him, as he was saying goodbye, he just had to point out that he was headed to rehearsals with Meryl, "She is in NY, You know”. Yes, Maks, Yes we know ;)
My thoughts on Maks’ interview were these. I think anyone can tell by his voice and his words that he is a man in love. I think it is very true that he will do anything Meryl asks him to do. I think he (and I’m sure Meryl too) is sick of the constant comments on Social media. No one wants to be told what to do, even if it’s something you want to do!
Their relationship is theirs, and they want to keep it that way. Eventually, they will share with all of us and we’ll have a huge party :)
At 3:07 DWM posted a pic of Meryl with Maks in the background
Shortly thereafter around 3:15 Maks reposted it on FB and added “I’ll be right back just gotta sign some autographs you know how it is… #JustKidding #ShesMorePopular #UtalkingAboutPractice”
Then Meryl posted a short video clip of herself and Maks dancing together!! the Rumba! Don’t know how long I watched it over and over! So much passion and beauty. I don’t know how the other couples dancing in the room could possibly concentrate. I can’t post videos, but I think you all saw it!
An anon also clued me in on this, a Vera Bradley meet and greet on December 14th CELEBRITY MEET & GREET Dancing with the Stars Season 18 Champions Olympic Gold Medalist Meryl Davis and Professional Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy Sunday, December 14, 2 - 4 pm VERA BRADLEY AT DEER PARK TOWN CENTER 20530 N. Rand Road, Deer Park, IL, 60010
Now Meryl had some free time waiting to go to the Charity event that we didn’t know about until a pic was posted!
At 4:32 Meryl liked Vals, Janels, the pic of her from DWM, waltdisney xmas decor pic, 4 puppy pics, a wedding dress, and a Greek Island water pic (You’re killing me with the wedding dresses, Mer)
4:47 Meryl retweeted DWM tweet of her at DWM waiting for Maks while she was suppposed to be practicing her rumba walks; 4:50 Meryl liked a black gown; 5:16 Meryl liked a blue beaded dress detail, a green and gold outfit; and some dressed up bulldogs;5:46 Meryl liked Kait H, Evan L, Nastia’s, 4 dog photos, and a nail photo and Val’s DWTS tour video; at 5:57 Meryl posted a video of her and Maks practicing their rumba at DWM; at 5:59 Meryl liked a fan pic
Around 6:45 a pic was posted of Maks and Meryl together at a charity function “@anniebrat Olympian @meryl_davis and @maksimc @dwts hang out @londonjewelers @americanashops #championsforcharity”
All I could do was stare. Legit for like 20 minutes off and on, Every time it came across my dash I would stare for a while. They both (especially Maks) just look so happy and calm and at ease.
A few other pics came out of the two of them at the event. But I’m not gonna post them all because this is already so long.
I will end with some awesome information from JMeridith’s anon, Maureen.
I was at the event with Meryl and Maks tonight. They could not have been a cuter couple, seriously.
The animal shelter I volunteer with had this event arranged with London Jewelers for over a month. We brought 8 puppies for adoption. London Jewelers allowed us space inside to show the dogs. London Jewelers is a great supporter of our organization (we are a 501C not for profit).
When I arrived at 5:30, I noticed Mr Okheit at the Cantamessa counter. Not long after, Meryl and Maks arrived. They could not have been nicer. They spoke to absolutely everyone and took pictures with anyone that asked. As you can imagine, Meryl loved the dogs we were showing. I have to tell you that Maks did as well. He held and played with the puppies. Both of them were cuddling with the dogs and one in particular fell in love with Maks. I’m sure there will be pictures of that as there was not a cuter thing in the world to see. I would imagine Meryl fell in love all over again.
I have seen Maks before (during the summer at SWAY and BWAT). He is so handsome. It was my first time seeing Meryl. She is stunning, even more so than what you see in pictures. A volunteer in our group - a big skating fan- was speaking with Meryl. Meryl was so kind and took a great interest in the skating programs nearby on Long Island. I will add that Meryl did say that she would be leaving soon (perhaps as early as tomorrow) as she had to get back to skating practice for her upcoming programs.. She said she would get back here to NY as soon as possible. She loves NY and was very excited to be at the event and see the Cantamessa jewelry line with Maks. They both said practice has gone well.
Everywhere Maks went, whether it was to talk to someone, take pictures, answer Cantamessa questions or fan questions, he was glued to Meryl. If she wasn’t right next to him, he reached for her. It was the same for her. These were automatic gestures. He introduced her to everyone. He made sure she was comfortable. This was a couple in front of us tonight, in words and actions. And if I am not mistaken, she was wearing Maks long grey sweater over her outfit as they left. I said I will see them at SWAY soon enough…they both said thank you!
And p.s.: try as we did, we could not convince them to adopt a dog tonight!!!
Maureen later added that all of her fellow volunteers assumed Meryl and Maks were a couple from the way they acted with each other. She did not notice if Meryl was wearing any rings on her right hand. But she did make some comments about their interactions.
Were they holding hands? Fingers interlaced?
Yes, they were.
When they first came over to where we were with the dogs (near the front of the store), Maks was in the lead and Meryl stopped to talk to someone. As he continued, he just reached his hand back (without looking) and she took it.
When they left us to walk around before heading back towards the Cantamessa section, he had his arm around her waist.
Him reaching his hand back is something we’ve seen before after their freestyle when they got to the top of the stairs….sigh!!
So, I think this is all I remember for today, guys. Yet another trip on the roller coaster. Yet another “good with the bad”. Yet another “actions speak louder than words”. Always listen to their actions and sail on.