Maksim Chmerkovskiy will dance with his former fianceé Karina Smirnoff next week when the bad boy dance pro returns to “Dancing with the Stars” for a drama-filled cameo.
In a bizarre twist, Maks and Karina, who had a bitter breakup more than three years ago, will put their old differences aside for the ABC reality show. Maks’ brother Val Chmerkovskiy, who dances with Zendaya Coleman this season, spilled the beans to reporters after Tuesday night’s results show.
Maks, who left “DWTS” this season to pursue other projects, was engaged to fellow “DWTS” pro Karina from Dec. 2008 to Sept. 2009 — and their split was intense.
“They were engaged and it was a terrible breakup and there were terrible feelings toward each other but that’s water under the bridge,” Val candidly told xfinityTV. Referring to the dancing they will do together next week, Val said, “That was a long time ago and this is bigger than that.”
On Monday, the remaining nine celebrities on Season 16 will perform in Judge Len Goodman’s “side by side challenge,” Val revealed. The dances will begin with a pro couple starting the number for about thirty seconds, and then the celebrities and their pros taking to the floor so viewers at home can compare.
Maks will be “dancing with Jacoby [Jones] and Karina, as well as assisting them” in rehearsals, Val confided. Maks and Anna Trebunskaya will also perform an Argentine tango with Val and “Shake It Up” actress Zendaya. “We have a little thing going on with Maks and Anna coming to help me out. That’s how they blackmailed him into coming back!” Val reported.
Val likened Maks dancing with Karina to how he performs with young Zendaya. “Everybody is like, she’s 16, and [the Argentine tango] is a passionate dance. Look, I’m passionate about dance and she’s passionate about dance and when we dance together, we love it. It’s the same thing with them.”
Although Maks often sparked controversy on “DWTS” and insiders thought he was at odds with producers before he stepped aside this season, Val insisted, “He loves to come back! He genuinely would love to come back [to 'DWTS']. It’s a pleasure for him to be back because this show is not about Maks and the producers, or whatever people think that relationship is about. It’s about Maks’ relationship with his fans and you only realize that after you lose that avenue to speak to them. You realize, well, what about the fans? How are they going to see me? How am I going to be able to continue to perform for them? This is a great opportunity for Maks.”
But it also sounds awkward, as another former girlfriend of Maks, Peta Murgatroyd, is performing with Sean Lowe this season. As xfinityTV has previously reported, Maks and Peta split up in February after dating for ten months.
Since leaving “DWTS,” Maks has broken into acting. He appeared on “General Hospital” last week in a role that wasn’t a great stretch, playing a dance instructor named Anton who gave Kelly Monaco’s character some lessons. Kelly finished third on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” last season with Val as her partner, and Val also did a cameo on “GH.” Val loved seeing his brother follow in his soap footsteps and thinks he has a future as a soap star: “I really do. It’s a genre of acting that requires you to not only be a great actor but also to be easy on the eyes. I think he’s got a great future in soaps. I thought my brother looked great. Hypothetically, he’s a great addition to the show. He’s very handsome.”
But does Maks really need a soap opera to create drama? We’ll find out next week, when he and Karina are dancing together again!