Pop Culture

'Dancing With the Stars' pro Maks has change of heart: Bristol Palin's doing fantastic

Theo Wargo / Getty Images / Today
Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

When "Dancing With the Stars" recapped Carrie Ann Inaba’s "slam back" comment to Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas (because she felt the duo slammed the judges by breaking a quickstep rule), the camera cut to the skybox and captured the suppressed chuckling reactions of pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani and celebrity Joey Fatone.

It appeared as if the trio couldn’t believe that Inaba had spoken so harshly to Palin. (One comment in the skybox might even have been an expletive, because it was bleeped out.)

Chmerkovskiy was asked about his reaction in the post-show press line and about Palin advancing to the next round even though she scored 18 points (the lowest) on Monday’s performance show.

“I’ve been very vocal the last time Bristol was around,” Chmerkovskiy candidly shared with reporters. “When they got called safe in a foursome that Val (Chmerkovskiy, my brother) and Kelly (Monaco) were called in jeopardy, Mark came up to me and said, ‘Dude, whatever happens happens. It’s not my fault!’”

Chmerkovskiy said that in the past, he might have gotten agitated over a lower-scoring couple advancing over higher rated dancers.

“This is also my 13th season, and I’ve learned from my mistake,” he philosophized. “Everybody deserves to be here. I’m not looking at Bristol the way I may have done in the past. She’s doing a fantastic job.”

The bad boy of the ballroom has a suggestion on how to eliminate any tensions that arise over debatable scoring and unjust eliminations.

“I’d like to see a season where everybody just dances,” he offered. “At ten weeks somebody gets called the winner. Everybody should get to experience (the whole competition.) I hate that Joey (Fatone) left.”

Chmerkovskiy's star partner, Kirstie Alley, feels that Fatone has taken all the fun of the show with him.

“We may be funny,” the Emmy-winning sitcom actress said. “But he’s a big chunk of funny!”

Ironically, Chmerkovskiy said it was dancing with Alley that helped him get over any issues he had with contestants sticking around longer than he may have thought they should.

“I realized we might not have been the best dancing couple, but we were enjoying every week," he explained. "I looked at Kirstie and saw the transformation and how much she loved being on the show. Everybody deserves that feeling. I hate to see anyone eliminated.”

Alas, next week there will be a double elimination. But Alley, who has a say in her and Chmerkovskiy’s dance, is hoping they won't be one of the couples leaving. 

She plans on doing a routine to Maroon 5’s "Moves Like Jagger." Watch for Chmerkovskiy to be appropriately decked out in tight pants and a loose vest.

“We’re going to see how you move like Jagger,” she told Chmerkovskiy.

“I have a big a--,” he replied, noting that therefore it might be difficult to fit into tight pants.

“Move like Jagger plus a half,” Alley says.

Do you think the pro is right about Bristol Palin doing a fantastic job on the show and how everyone deserves to be there? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Michael Maloney is the author of “The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell, creator of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.”

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