“Dancing with the Stars” pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy gave reporters an earful backstage Monday night after rehearsal footage that aired added to his bad boy reputation.
Maks was shown verbally abusing his partner Melissa Gilbert—and then coming off as egotistical, telling her, “It could be worse. You could have an ugly partner.”
When asked about his behavior, Maks complained he’s always shown in a bad light—while other DWTS competitors get a free pass. “I could get mad. I could be upset about this but actually, I think what’s happening is that no one else’s negative moments are light enough for TV,” he said. “Mine are the lightest you can broadcast. All the others are like, okay, you can’t show this on TV.”
Maks didn’t elaborate on which stars or pros might be misbehaving in rehearsal, but he insisted there were no problems between him and Melissa even though he let the expletives fly and said her dancing “sucked” during practice sessions. “This was the funnest week I ever had. We maybe had three or four percent of the time that we spent clashing,” Maks explained. “Sh*t, this is Week 6!”
The longtime DWTS pro is often in hot water; he shocked fans last season by declaring, “This is MY show” and appearing to have numerous conflicts with his partner, soccer player Hope Solo. But Melissa rushed to defend Maks on Monday night, saying, “We had a lot of expectation. We had to work really hard. We’ve been in this consistent rut of these stupid [scores of] 7s and we had a lot to prove tonight and I had to work extra hard. I was tired and [he had] to motivate me—that’s how we get going. I don’t understand what the point of [showing the backstage footage] is. Are they trying to make me look stupid or a martyr or make him look like a Simon Legree? It’s ridiculous. We disagree sometimes but more often than not, it benefits me, because look what happens.”
Melissa suffered whiplash and a mild concussion two weeks ago during her dance with Maks but fully recovered. The couple got a solid score of 24 on Monday night and judge Carrie Ann Inaba said Melissa had come a long way.
Maks confirmed, “This woman is amazing. She’s bionic. She’s overcome so much already. We don’t make a story or package out of things that others blow up and to tell the truth, this is our journey — “My conscience is clear.”
While Maks and Melissa showed their solidarity, there were some other backstage bits and pieces from Motown night:
Hair’s to the ‘60s!: Katherine Jenkins, who got a score of 29 with her partner Mark Ballas, told xfinityTV about her elaborate beehive hairdo: “It took a long time. Hair and makeup was intense. It’s fun and it stayed in one place. I’ll wake up and it’ll [still] be like this!” For Gladys Knight, wearing a bouffant ‘do was nostalgic but she said, “I didn’t wear this much hair, even back in the day, all that teasing and stuff. We all liked a little pomp. My hair was longer then so I always pulled it back, pumped it up a little bit, did my ponytail thing. It was Motown week, so I said, ‘let me be Diana [Ross]!’ Everybody likes this look!”
It’s Easy Being Green: Mark Ballas loved his green outfit for his dance with Katherine and explained to reporters afterward, “frogs are our lucky symbol in the family. My mom’s got one tattooed on her back. I’m adding a frog soon. Everyone on the floor needs a wee bit of luck, so we went with frog green. Green is my favorite!”
Urkel’s Origins: Gladys dished to reporters about having played Jaleel White’s mother on the TV sitcom “Charlie & Co.” in the ‘80s, before his breakout role on “Family Matters.” “He was just starting out and the thing they cautioned him about most when we learned our scripts, he would mouth the words as other people were doing their parts and you could see him,” she said. “He was a little rascal. I had a son Jaleel’s age and they were always on the set together, typical boys, and they’d ride skateboards and bicycles all across the set.” Thanks, mom!
Derek Hough making moves on the big screen: Longtime DWTS pro Derek, who is dancing with Maria Menounos this season, filled reporters in on the progress of his upcoming dance movie, “Cobu 3D”: “I spoke to the director a week ago and he just got back from Toronto where they’ve been putting it together. They finally finished it last week. I’ve heard good things so I’m happy about it. We’ll see how it comes out.” We hope Derek does as well on the big screen as his sister, Julianne Hough, who made the transition from DWTS to “Footloose” movie stardom.
Chelsie Talks Back: Normally placid dancer Chelsie Hightower surprised many at DWTS Monday night by showing a feisty side. She argued with the judges who dissed her partner, Roshon Fegan, and gave them only 23 points. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t hold back,” Chelsie told xfinityTV after the show. “I don’t think I’ve ever really felt like I did tonight. When you get to that point, it’s hard to not [say anything]. I did have a few comments!” Meanwhile, Roshon joked he would be taking her out on a date soon: “I’m thinking like Quizno’s, or something.” Now that’s something to complain about! “That is such a disappointment,” Chelsie joked back.
I’m Too Sexy for my shirt?: After judges thought William Levy’s dance was too hot for DWTS, the telenovela star sputtered backstage, “I never thought anything could be too sexy. I don’t think that when it comes to sexuality and love and passion, there’s ever too much.” Although partner Cheryl Burke had her eyes locked on William during the dance, she revealed she could hear the dulcet tones of judge Bruno Tonioli during the performance. “Bruno was talking dirty to me as I was dancing,” she sighed. “I heard him as I was dancing, I swear he was. I heard him [say], ‘Oh, my God, Cheryl. Oh, my God! I have no idea how you’re doing this.’ So distracting!”