Dancing With The Stars ended season 31 with TikTok queen Charli D’Amelio and her partner Mark Ballas as the crowning champion. Ballas’ choreography not only set D’Amelio apart from the other celebrity contestants, but their playful chemistry made them a fan-favorite couple.
The chemistry isn’t the only thing seen on the dance floor, as the evolution of the partner/dancer bond is shown with the behind-the-scenes footage in preparation for each week. In thirty-one seasons, there have been quite a few couples that set the stage on fire with their chemistry.
10/10 Laurie Hernandez & Val Chmerkovskiy (Season 23)
Romance is not the only applicable element when it comes to chemistry, but true camaraderie is also an important factor. This is quite accurate with Olympic gymnast, Laurie Hernandez, and her partner, Valentin “Val” Chmerkovskiy.
Val and Lori immediately hit it off, with audiences feeling a sibling bond between the two of them. Their combined talents sparked a wonderful, swift chemistry, which eventually led them to nabbing the Mirrorball trophy in season 23.
9/10 Bindi Irwin & Derek Hough (Season 21)
The daughter of Australian wildlife expert and television personality Steve Irwin, Bindi Irwin was one of ten contestants to compete in season 21. Her partner was Derek Hough, the most decorated of all the professionals past and present, now including Irwin’s season.
Hough’s support in rehearsals fueled Irwin’s authentic confidence, with their graceful moves and fun camaraderie resulting in fantastic chemistry on the dance floor. Bindi and Derek’s most poignant number would be a beautiful contemporary number for Week 4’s theme of “Most Memorable Year” set to “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, with the routine being dedicated to Bindi’s late father.
8/10 J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff (Season 13)
All My Children actor J.R. Martinez joined the cast of season 13 with Karina Smirnoff, a DWTS favorite professional, as his partner. Smirnoff’s unwavering encouragement combined with Martinez’s natural talents made them the season’s fan favorite couple.
The duo’s chemistry was endearing and intriguing, which faced challenges in the final week as Martinez was apprehensive about performing lifts in their final number in Week 10 due to Smirnoff’s recent neck surgery. Their freestyle routine set to “Whine Up” by Kat Deluna earned them a perfect score and the Mirrorball trophy.
7/10 Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough (Season 5)
Even though Julianne Hough wasn’t a remarkable reality show judge, she is one of Dancing With The Stars most popular professionals. Hough’s sophomore season saw Indy racer Hélio Castroneves as her celebrity partner, who crossed the finish line in season 5 and won the Mirrorball trophy.
Julianne’s skill and Hélio’s athletic agility created a chemistry that was both sizzling and sweet. As an added bonus, the couple briefly dated once the season wrapped. While their off-stage romance didn’t last long, it did earn Hough a second consecutive Dancing With The Stars win.
6/10 Daniel Durant & Britt Stewart (Season 31)
Not every couple on the show was a smashing success, but the pairs that mesh well always stand out. One such pairing was deaf actor Daniel Durant and his partner Britt Stewart, whose chemistry kept fans glued to their TVs and tablets from the start of the season.
Daniel and Britt had a very blossoming chemistry in their movements, stemming from their natural camaraderie in rehearsals. The pairing’s best routine was their electrifying jazz number to Depeche Mood’s sultry “Enjoy The Silence,” earning them a nearly perfect score.
5/10 Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess (Season 20)
Although Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy waltzed away with the Mirrorball trophy, one of the most memorable couples of season 20 was former USA soldier Noah Galloway and his partner Sharna Burgess. Being a double amputee, Galloway navigated the season with the utmost grace and talent, influenced by Burgess’ sensitivity and kindness.
Noah and Sharna’s chemistry was a shooting star in their freestyle number set to “Titanium” and “Fix You,” earning a perfect score. Finishing in third place, the pairing will be one of the franchise’s most admired.
4/10 Shangela & Gleb Savchenko (Season 31)
Drag queen Shangela is always fabulous, but she brought her ferocity to a whole other level in season 31. Dancing alongside Gleb Savchenko, the duo are the third same-sex pairing in the franchise’s history.
Shangela and Savchenko became fast friends, which was evident in their fun chemistry on the dance floor. For the finals, the couple went out with a bang, complete with Gleb in drag as the pair pulled off one of Dancing With The Stars‘ best numbers in season 31 with a freestyle routine set to a mashup of Destiny’s Child and RuPaul.
3/10 Robert Herjvec & Kym Herjvec (Season 20)
Quite a few pairings on the show have dated off the stage, but perhaps the most romantic story is that of Robert and Kym Herjvec, formerly Kym Johnson. The Shark Tank panelist and the Australian dancer were paired for season 20.
From the start, the pairing had a sincere and delightful chemistry, which was beautifully highlighted by their Viennese waltz to Engelbert Humperdinck’s “The Last Waltz.” While only lasting until Week 8, Robert and Kym married in 2016, welcoming twins Haven and Hudson two years later in 2018.
2/10 Nikki Bella & Artem Chigvintsev (Season 25)
Nikki Bella knows her way around a wrestling ring, and thanks to the help of her professional partner Artem Chigvintsev, she smoothly navigated the dance floor in season 25. While the pair only lasted seven episodes, they are among the most memorable franchise couples.
Nikki and Artem’s chemistry was purely magnificent, shining with every number they performed. Their bond also translated off of the dance floor, with the couple welcoming their first child, a son named Matteo Artemovich, in 2020 and tying the knot in 2022.
1/10 Meryl Davis & Maks Chmerkovskiy (Season 18)
While Olympic gold medalist Charlie White’s elimination is still a DWTS shocker, his ice dancing partner Meryl Davis won the season with the help of partner Maksim “Maks” Chmerkovskiy.
This pairing was also an instance where the celebrity contestant had a profound effect on their professional dance partner. Davis’ gentle demeanor perfectly balanced out Chmerkovskiy’s intensity, which was especially evident in their natural and electric chemistry on the dance floor. Thirteen seasons later, Meryl and Maks continue to be one of the franchise’s most popular pairings.
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