Hollywood is in the business of chemistry. It’s all about casting the right actors, making sure the relationship feels believable, and then crossing your fingers that what you think you see translates to the screen. And then there are reality competitions, where chemistry rarely matters unless your name is Adam Levine or Blake Shelton.

Take Dancing With the Stars, for example. Viewers tune in to watch celebs potentially embarrass themselves on the dance floor with a professional partner they’re probably decent friends with, but we don’t expect much more than that. And then, once in a while, like a unicorn sighting, something magical happens and reality TV makes casting agents’ jobs look easy. Enter Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

All season, these two have radiated chemistry. Their dances have been laced with sexual tension, and their rehearsal time has been downright adorable. And last night, they made scripted television cry with what I’m officially declaring the best almost-kiss of 2014.

After they performed their freestyle dance, which Maks choreographed about their journey — and set to the very romantic song “Latch” — the couple’s final pose was a near-lip lock. As viewers saw, they got as close as humanly possible to an actual kiss without physical contact. You could even see Meryl thinking about it. The way he leans in and she scratches the back of his head? And the smirk on her face? And his wink afterward? I’m dead.

And just like that, reality TV became the tease scripted television dreams of becoming.

Watch the routine below:

Honestly, I don’t typically ship reality couples. It’s not nearly as fun as shipping fictional couples, and I actually feel a little weird about getting involved in a real person’s love life. But these two are my most-shipped couple of the year right about now. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted two people to get married more. I mean, if this isn’t love then I’m an idiot, because I think these two are soulmates.

Sorry Hayley and Elijah, but this almost-kiss is sitting pretty in my top spot.

Episode Recaps

Dancing With the Stars
  • TV Show
  • 30