Hands down, season 18 of Dancing With the Stars was one of the best -- if not the best yet. It's all due to the fact that ABC nailed it this time as far as casting goes.
And while all of the contestants added their own unique personality on the show, Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White really upped the ante on the competition.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of chatting with the two of them about their emotional journey from their big win in Sochi to their time in the Dancing With the Stars ballroom. Let me be the first to tell you that they're exactly as open and personable as they appeared to be on TV!
And yes, Meryl really is that sweet. (Such a doll.)
Here's a glimpse into our little chat. DUH -- of course I brought up Maksim Chmerkovskiy at one point during the interview. (Wink, wink.)
Congrats to both of you on your Olympics win and an amazing season on DWTS, and of course to Meryl for winning the mirror ball trophy! How have your lives changed since appearing on the show?
Meryl: Thank you! Oh ... they've changed a lot! Obviously we are not at home living our normal lives, but we are so grateful for all of the amazing opportunities we've had, and we're taking advantage of them. We're enjoying every minute and are having so much fun.
It must have been strange to go from being a team to being partnered with other people. Did the two of you ever feel any competition toward each other -- even a little bit?
Charlie: Not at all, we just went with it. We've skated together for so many years that both of us are a foundation for each other's success. We didn't want to throw away that partnership, so we supported each other, which made the experience even more enjoyable.
Was learning to dance still hard for you guys? Because you really made it look effortless.
Meryl: Thank you for saying that, but yes, it was still hard, especially since this was one of the busiest times in our lives. Some people probably don't realize this, but we were doing a Stars on Ice tour at the same time the show was running, so we were really all over the place.
You came straight off Sochi and went right into DWTS -- was there ever a time you wanted to pack it up and go home and take a break? How do you do it all?
Charlie: We were really just grateful for the opportunity to be on the show, so we just enjoyed it, which helped us to push through.
Meryl, what was more gratifying -- winning the gold or winning DWTS?
The past few months have been unusually exciting for me, so both were amazing. Charlie and I worked toward that gold medal for 17 years, but it was also incredible to succeed on the dance floor as well.
Ok, Meryl -- I have to ask. I saw an adorable photo of you and Maks on Facebook this morning. How happy were you to reunite with him, and when are the two of you seeing each other again?
Yeah, we're in his hometown right now ... and we're here because of our great partnership with Puffs SoftPack. It's the same great Puffs tissues in a flexible container, so it's easy to throw it into your gym bag and carry around with you on the go.
(Message received -- she's not gonna go there. Time to change the subject.)
It must be so tough to be away from your families for so long. How do you manage to stay grounded and focused on and off the ice?
Charlie: It's definitely been a while since we've been home, but our families came out and visited us a lot, which really helped. They constantly stayed in contact and realized what a fun experience this was for us.
What advice did your parents give you to help you achieve your dreams that you would pass on to other kids who have big ambitions?
Meryl: Our parents always encouraged us to maintain a well balanced life. Even though we were skating, we still went to school and college and had social lives. Keeping a balanced life helped us to work toward our dreams.
What's up next for the two of you?
Charlie: Well? After we wrap up things in NYC with Puffs, we're both going on vacation! We're also planning on doing a show called Ice Tour in Japan. As for what's on the agenda for us professionally after that? We're going to wait and talk about that after our vacation.
(Yes, I had to fight the urge to ask Meryl if a wedding is in her near future at that point. Willpower at its best, people.)
Are you impressed with how down-to-earth Meryl and Charlie are despite all their success?
Image via Instagram