We’re less than a week away from the cast reveal for Season 14 of Dancing With the Stars, and less than a month away from the season premiere – in other words, a bit late in the game, if you’re one of the pro dancers, to not even know yet if the show has plans for you this spring or not.
It appears that one of the longest tenured pros on DWTS, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, might be on the sidelines come the March 19 season premiere. The 32-year-old Maks, best known for fighting with (and sometimes flirting with) his celebrity students, popping off at the judges, and for coming close but never winning the Mirror Ball Trophy, has told ET Canada that he has yet to hear from the producers regarding whether he will be asked to dance this coming season.
“I would still not tell you if I did but I am not lying to you. I didn’t get the call yet,” Chmerkovskiy said in the interview, adding that DWTS might be looking at a bunch of shorter female stars this year who would be tough pairings for him (he is about 6-2). The pros generally start finding out if they are needed for the season a week or so before the cast announcement, as the show begins nailing down exactly who its stars will be.
Even if Chmerkovskiy did not dance this season, it wouldn’t imply DWTS was permanently finished with him – many dancers have missed a season here and there and come back, as Maks himself did after he skipped Season 6. However, if he’s not part of Season 14, many will surely speculate it has something to do with his strange behavior last fall, when his relationship with star Hope Solo appeared to turn toxic, and he announced “this is my show” after bashing judge Len Goodman.
But Chmerkovskiy and DWTS seem to have mended fences. “I’m happy to return every season. Every off-season, something changes, something happens to make me realize how good I have it … A little bit of competitiveness goes away and a little bit of appreciation takes over and I’m very appreciative of the show and what the show has done for me and for us.” Well, now we know why he might miss this season – he’s been kidnapped and replaced by a lookalike impostor with a better disposition.