‘Dancing With The Stars’ Pro Weighs In On Casting Rumors

The Situation, Audrina Patridge and Bristol Palin may compete on new season, Maksim Chmerkovskiy teases.

For weeks, names like the Situation, Audrina Patridge and Bristol Palin have been floating around as possible contenders on the next season of “Dancing With the Stars.” But with the official announcement only hours away — ABC will announce its new lineup on Monday night (August 30) — one “DWTS” regular said he wasn’t about to ruin the surprise.

MTV News caught up with dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Sunday night after the Emmy Awards, and he refused to give up much about who might be taking a shot at the mirror-ball trophy.

“How many people out there really want to [know early]?” he asked when we met him at the “ET” Emmy afterparty. “I think that’s just spoiling it, the excitement. A lot of [the casting rumors] are [true], but there’s certain things, like, even if you know the cast, you don’t know how they got paired up, which makes a huge difference and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

While Chmerkovskiy wouldn’t confirm or deny talk that the stars of MTV’s reality hits “Jersey Shore” or “The Hills” would be making appearances, he admitted that in past seasons there have been contestants he didn’t want to hit the dance floor with.

“I’ve been dodging bullets many seasons, but then again sometimes you get paired up, and you go, ‘Jesus,’ ” he revealed. “Then you find out about the person and you try and figure out a way to make it work and you make it work and it turns into a great show.”

Chmerkovskiy said that while he had yet to begin rehearsals for the new season, the dancers and their celeb partners were already being introduced. “This weekend is when couples meet each other, or maybe tomorrow, maybe today, but I think tomorrow’s the last day when people meet each other,” he said.

“You find out 20 minutes before [you meet them] who you’re dancing with. The producers I think [want] to avoid the ‘What the hell?’ reaction, and then you go to the studio, they walk in and you go, ‘You didn’t put on weight since last time I saw you somewhere,’ and it’s awesome,’ ” he explained about the process. “It’s fun.”

Chmerkovskiy added that regardless of who he gets paired with, not much about “DWTS” fazes him these days.
“We’re going into season 11; it’s my ninth season … As pros, we’ve been there. We’ve done it, we’ve danced with everybody. We’ll make it work,” he said. “We’ll just have to wait and see!”

Which MTV stars would you like to see compete on “DWTS”? Share your casting wish list in the comments!