When Maks Attacks: Derek Hough Edition

Might we soon be getting some real Sharks vs. Jets action on the set of Dancing With the Stars? We should be so lucky, but it does look as if a couple of our favorite pro dancers would rather rumble than rumba.

The current Us Weekly quotes a show “insider” as saying that Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Derek Hough “hate each other,” the apparent result of professional and personal jealousies playing out over a period of years – in many cases, the pro dancers on DWTS have been acquaintances and competitors since they were children.

The furor following Maks’s blowup at judge Len Goodman last week has fanned the flames, particularly his clumsy remark that “this is my show.” When Us asked Hough about the comment, he alluded to a plaque on the set that lists the names of the former champions: “I was looking at the plaque upstairs and … well, never mind.” Hough has been part of a winning pair three times, while Chmerkovskiy has come close but never won.

For his part, Maks has implied that his rival has received preferential treatment with the assignment of partners; it’s certainly true that getting to dance with Nicole Scherzinger and Jennifer Grey made Derek an instant favorite in those seasons. And note how quickly Derek stepped in to help Hope Solo when Maks got frustrated with his partner during rehearsals for the group dance this past week on DWTS.

Yet another source claims that Hough’s sister, former DWTS pro Julianne, is a cause of some of the friction between the two men. Julianne dated Maks briefly before moving on to Ryan Seacrest; the source claims that Maks spread rumors she was continuing to see him behind Seacrest’s back (let’s pause here to remind ourselves that these are grown men and women). But the “insider” counters that Hough’s current romance with Lauren Conrad is solely for publicity, in order that he might become as big a star as his sister (no word on whether the insider has a distinct Ukrainian accent). Isn’t Hough more prominent than Conrad right now? Why would he need her for publicity? Why do we know any of this?

This must be what happens when you’re a pro dancer as a teenager and you don’t attend high school like most people – you wind up living out those teen years later, and in public.