Pro dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff, who broke off their turbulent engagement more than three years ago, finally put their old differences aside to perform together on Monday night’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
Amazingly, the whole experience was drama-free! “There was zero tension,” Maks revealed after the show. “We spent a week together. We danced two numbers. We were having great fun — and personal things are going to stay personal.”
In fact, during Maks’ first guest cameo since leaving “DWTS” this season, Karina even gave her former fiancé an on-camera hug as he coached her and Jacoby Jones with fellow pro Anna Trebunskaya in rehearsals.
As part of Judge Len Goodman’s side-by-side challenge, in which professional couples performed with the celebrities and their partners, Maks and Anna also joined Karina and Jacoby on the dance floor.
Karina later told xfinityTV that during practice, Maks and Jacoby “talked a lot about football. I was like, ‘Boys, cool it!’ I don’t know what you’re talking about, but we need to do the jive!’”
More seriously, Karina confided that dancing with Maks years after their split was “really good. I think I kind of thought it might be a little awkward but it wasn’t. It was a pleasant surprise. I was like, ‘I’ll take it. I like it. Thank you very much.’ And it was so long ago, I think it was last century!”
Karina added, “We’re good. We’re better than we’ve been since the break-up. It’s a lot better. And we’re dancing for fun, for a living, wearing rhinestones and neon colors. I mean, let’s put things in perspective!”
Jacoby and Karina got a strong score of 26 out of 30 for their jive, with the judges largely praising the dance but criticizing the look of the football player’s feet.
Maks told xfinityTV about coaching Jacoby, “He’s a funny guy with a lot of energy. To say that he’s going to work on his footwork to please Len is absurd. I tried to make him turn his feet out and he was like, ‘That’s impossible.’”
However, Karina thought the side-by-side challenge with her former flame was a huge success. “I think with his style of dancing and Maks’ style of dancing, it worked perfectly,” she smiled to xfinityTV.