The ballroom will be one Russian short for the upcoming season. According to TMZ, Maksim Chmerkovskiy has informed the producers of Dancing with the Stars that he will not be one of the professional dancers on the upcoming 16th season.
Maksim has been a staple of the series since season 2 and has appeared on every season since (with the sole exception of season 6). Despite competing 13 times, he has never won the coveted Mirror Ball trophy. He was the runner-up twice, with Spice Girl Mel B. in season 5 and Kirstie Alley in season 12. He also made the finale in season 4 with boxer Laila Ali and in season 10 with sports reporter Erin Andrews.
According to TMZ, Maksim is leaving the show, but not the entertainment world as he is looking to do film and television. They also report that Maksim’s brother, Val Chmerkovskiy, will be back as a pro dancer.
This news come just before Dancing with the Stars will reveal its cast for season 16. The official announcement will come on Good Morning America Tuesday, February 26. The season will begin Monday, March 18 at 8pm on ABC.
A New SYTYCD Pro
In other professional news, there will be another new face this season as Lindsay Arnold, a ballroom dancer who made it to the Top 8 of the most recent season of So You Think You Can Dance, announced on Twitter that she’s going to be one of the professional partners for Dancing with the Stars season 16.
She is the latest in a long series of SYTYCD alums to wind up as DWTS pros, including Chelsie Hightower, Lacey Schwimmer and Dmitry Chaplin. And since isn’t even old enough to drink, she’s certainly the youngest pro, so Lindsay will probably get paired with whatever Disney star they come up with this year.
While Maks may be out, there are still plenty of returning favorites. Cheryl Burke, Tony Dovolani and Derek Hough have all taken to Twitter to announce their excitement for the start of rehearsals next week. This will continue Cheryl and Tony’s impressive records as it will be their 15 consecutive season each (neither was in the first season). There will also be some pressure on Derek Hough as he has made the finale the past five times he’s been on the show. In other words.
Are you going to boycott Dancing with the Stars without Maksim Chmerkovskiy? How do you feel about another young SYTYCD star as a pro?
Want to add DWTS to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.
(Image courtesy of ABC)