Fans have missed Maks but sources close to “Dancing with the Stars” say the bad boy of the ballroom, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, will be returning to the dance competition show for season 18. The news was reported on Feb. 27 by Us Weekly and fans are delighted.
Maks has been missing from the competition for 2 seasons but he will be returning as a professional dancer. With his return, this will put Maks at 15 performing seasons out the shows 18-season run so far.
Maks last appeared on the show as a dancer in 2012. When his contract expired, he left under what was rumored at the time to be tense terms. He had this to say
"Essentially, 80 percent of our job is to give somebody another push in their career," he told the New York Post of his departure. "I loved doing it. But to be honest with you, at 32, I am at what-about-me time."
The 34 year old Ukrainian born dancer was not idle while away from the ballroom. He appeared in a 3 episode arc on “General Hospital” and filmed 2 movies.
Details of his new contract are not known but he reportedly attended a meeting on Feb. 26 with “DWTS” execs where the deal was made. His return will help bring a bit of stability to a show that has in recent weeks seen a great deal of upheaval with long time cast and crew members.
In Feb., Harold Wheeler and his orchestra, who had been with the show since day one, were let go. Last week news that cohost Brooke Burke-Charvet had been terminated was another shock to fans of the old show.
Wheeler and company have been replaced by Ray Chew and smaller, more modern band while Burke-Charvet has been replaced by sports journalist Erin Andrews who is herself a former contestant.
Interestingly enough, Chmerkovskiy was Andrews’s partner when she competed. The couple finished 3rd in season 11.
Other confirmed contestants for the show include Nene Leakes and Candace Cameron Bure.
ABC will announce the new cast of “Dancing with the Stars” on March 4 on “Good Morning America.”
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