March 12, 2012 at 2:08 PM ET
Since first appearing on the second season of "Dancing With the Stars," ballroom bad boy Maksim Chmerkovskiy has waltzed 11 different celebrity ladies across the stage. But he's never waltzed any of them to victory. Now that he's paired with actress Melissa Gilbert, does Maks finally stand a chance at grabbing that overdue mirror-ball trophy? Well ...
It's possible, but it doesn't seem likely based on the pre-season banter coming from the duo.
"I don't think we're determined to beat anybody else or knock anybody else out," Melissa explained in an interview with "Entertainment Tonight."
"We are," Maks interrupted.
But that's not his partner's style.
"I'm not that way really," she continued. "I'm competitive and I work hard, but I just want us to go as far as we can we can go. If that means all the way, then that means all the way."
Not exactly a passionate endorsement for their team, but Melissa was quick to add, "If I can be the partner that helps him win the mirror ball for the first time, I'm happy."
Maks would no doubt be happy too -- so happy he'd like to celebrate it with something more than the usual mirror ball that fellow pro Derek Hough's been handed again and again (and again).
"If we win, I want my mirror ball to be the biggest ball of mirrors that there is," Maks said. "I will take the mirror ball that's hanging in the ballroom -- literally. I already told the producers, 'If I win, I want that ball.' "
And their reply?
" 'If you win, you can have it' -- which means chances are very slim," said Maks.
"I kidding. I'm kidding!" Maks assured his leading lady.
Here's hoping he really is joking, as some fans of the hoofer have been waiting for him to finally get a win as long as he has. Who knows? Maybe Maks is just downplaying his odds so as not to jinx anything. After all, Melissa warned, "He's very superstitious."
Do you think Maks and Melissa stand a chance to go all the way this season? Which couple are you planning to root for? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.