With just a few weeks until Season 19 of “Dancing with the Stars” kicks off, the pros are talking about who’s staying, who’s leaving and how they feel about it all. Season 18 champion Maks Chmerkovskiy was quoted by CBS Detroit on Aug. 9 as the dancer talked about his own future.
Maks seemed to make it clear he would not be returning to the show, at least not as a dancer. “You do something for almost nine years, I think it’s enough, no?” Chmerkovskiy said. “Fourteen seasons — how much more do you want, honestly? I know, people are just always hungry.” His departure as one of the pros was alluded to when his season 18 partner Meryl Davis said she was glad she could be the last one he danced with and that they won together. The owner of several dance studios, Chmerkovskiy plans to pursue acting.
Another pro recently spilled the beans on the future of Len Goodman as the head judge on the show. Two-time champion and fan favorite Cheryl Burke settled speculation on whether or not the Brit will return, according to Enstarz. Len has complained of the wear and tear the weekly commute between the U.S.A. and U.K. puts on him. He has been rumored to be leaving for two seasons now. Burke says the cranky but lovable judge will be returning for Season 19 of Dancing with the Stars” but may miss a few shows.
"I know that he is probably going to be missing a few shows next season because of the traveling back and forth," Burke said.
He missed a number of shows in Season 17 but appeared in all of Season 18 without absence. He himself has not indicated that he is staying or leaving but Burke’s comments seem to indicate he will be back. This means the team of Len, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba, all of whom have been with the show since Season 1, will be the longest running judging panel on television.
It also looks as if the show may be bringing back some of the pros seen in earlier seasons for Season 19. Christian Post reported that Kristyn Burtt of ‘Entertainment’ revealed show runner Rob Wade spent the summer meeting with the pros still under contract, some who have been MIA for several seasons. Burtt did not volunteer any names but several have cropped up as possibilities. Among them are Lindsay Arnold, Gleb Savenchko, Sasha Farber, Chelsie Hightower, Lacey Schwimmer, Anna Trebunskaya, Louis Van Amstel and Edyta Sliwinska. One name not mentioned is Dmitriy Chaplin as his contract has reportedly expired.
As for the actual celebrity cast and the professional partners, we’ll have to wait for the official announcement set for Sept. 4. “Dancing with the Stars” Season 19 will premiere Monday Sept. 15 on ABC.