Maksim Chmerkovskiy is out of the season 16 cast of "Dancing with the Stars." Fans noticed his absence from the official cast list released Tuesday. Is Maks out just for this season or permanently? According to a Feb. 26 report by Us Weekly, the pro dancer isn't on for this season.
Maks told Us:
"I just want to set the record straight to all of my amazing fans that I will unfortunately not be returning for this season of 'Dancing with the Stars.' I've been a pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities that have been made possible because of 'Dancing with the Stars.' I'm going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations."
Maks thanked his supporters:
"A big thank you to all of my fans for your never-ending support. I also want to thank the entire cast and production of 'Dancing with the Stars.'"
Other dancers on the popular ABC reality show have taken time off to pursue other opportunities such as Julianne and Derek Hough. Julianne doesn't plan on returning to "DWTS," but Derek has taken time off for other projects and filming.
Every season one or more pro dancers are noticeably missing from the cast. Producers must also match up celebrities with the right partner before practice sessions begin for the show. Additionally, producers allow pros to rest between seasons.
Will Maks be back for season 17?
"Dancing with the Stars" season 16 premieres Monday, March 25 on ABC at 8 p.m., ET/PT. Viewers in Portland, Ore. can tune into KATU channel 2.