Can "Dancing With the Stars" fans expect to see past pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy — the bad boy of the ballroom — stop by for a turn on the judging panel if there's an opening? After all, former pro Julianne Hough guest judged while Len Goodman was away.
“My participation with 'Dancing With the Stars' is up to higher powers,” Chmerkovskiy told TODAY. “When there’s a phone call, ‘Hey, we want you to be a judge,’ it will be welcomed with positivity and smiles.”
If that were to happen, Chmerkovskiy would be put in the same position Hough was in when she sat at the judges table — having to dole out criticism and score a sibling pro. For Hough, it was brother Derek (who's partnered with Amber Riley). For Chmerkovskiy, it would be brother Valentin (who's dancing alongside Elizabeth Berkley).
The question is, would he be up for the unbiased job?
“Absolutely,” the older Chmerkovskiy responds. “Because I wouldn’t be judging my brother — I’d be judging the celebrities and what they are showing us.”
Hough’s remarks were encouraging and positive during her one-episode stint, with the possible exception of her quip about her former dance partner and childhood pal, Mark Ballas, being a bit too much of a showman. The statement generated lots of publicity. Chmerkovskiy insists he’d be supportive of the dance pros and their partners because he’s been in their shoes.
“I’d never be detrimental in any ways with my comments,” he said. “I know the effect that has. I’m not going to go after the pro and say, ‘You should have done a better job,’ because I know how difficult it is.”
Chmerkovskiy is doubly proud of his brother this season, not only for coaching Berkley, but also for launching his own clothing line — Valentin.
“I didn’t see this coming,” Chmerkovskiy said of his sibling going into the design business. “One day, he and his business partner Nicole (Volynets) disappeared and they came back and he said, ‘OK, I’m doing this.’ He’s traveled enough and seen the world enough to differentiate things (when it comes to fashion), and he knows how things are put together. I love that he’s doing this.”
The senior Chmerkovskiy doesn’t have any announcements just yet as to his next endeavor, but don’t be surprised to see him do more acting. (He had a recurring role opposite Kelly Monaco on "General Hospital" last spring.)
“I’m working on my acting,” he told us. “I’m blessed with an incredible coach. It’s very exciting. I’m actually saying no to auditions (for now) because I want to be ready acting-wise. I don’t want to be a fluke.”