In a somewhat shocking move, professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy has announced that he is considering departing Dancing with the Stars for the second time in two years. The 34-year-old heart throb, who just won the coveted mirror ball trophy for the first time only days ago, made the surprising announcement on Friday.
On Tuesday, he and his partner, Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis, won the 18th season of the competition. It was the first time for Chmerkovskiy, who has participated on Dancing with the Stars since the show’s second season, back in 2006. He was asked by Entertainment Tonight if he would return for season 19 and responded that he did not believe he would.
“This is exhausting,” he admitted. “It has nothing to do with money.”
Just last year, Chmerkovskiy decided he had enough of the show that made him a household name. His departure came on the heels of controversy, with rumors that his ego had manifested to the point of physical abuse. In 2011, Olympian Hope Solo joined the show for season 13 and was partnered with the Ukrainian dancer. In her book, Solo: A Memoir of Hope, she claimed that Chmerkovskiy would have fits of frustration while they practiced.
According to Solo, he would bend her arms forcefully while they worked out moves, slap her face and body repeatedly and would often abuse her emotionally as well.”
“I thought that was just how it went,” she wrote, “how dancers worked with each other. But it kept getting worse.”
Chimerkovskiy denied the claims written in the book. Just days later, he revealed that he was ready to leave Dancing with the Stars once his initial contract was up. He blamed the show for showing only one side of his personality and felt that it had done all it could for his career up to that point.
“I am a lot of fun to watch, even without constant drama,” he said last year to the New York Post. “The audience and producers can’t expect for me to want to stick around.”
He had a change of heart and returned for a one-off date in late 2013, where he appeared as a guest judge. He made his formal return as a dancer to the show earlier in 2014 for its season 18. Until his recent win, he had only managed to reach a high point of placing second. That happened with actress Kirstie Alley for season 12 of Dancing with the Stars, back in 2011.
As for now, the thought of departure seems to be running around in his head. Maksim Chimerkovskiy might not return to Dancing with the Stars, but then again, he may decide to have one more spin on the dance floor and on television screens around America. Right now, the current winner of the competition is ready for a long rest. After hugging his partner following their win, he says he turned to one of his competitors, five-time-winner of the show, Derek Hough, and said, “Dude, I don’t know how you do it.”
By Jonathan Brown