Maksim Chmerkovskiy has defended his comment that Dancing with the Stars is his show, which he made after fighting with one of the show’s judges, which helped inject some drama into an otherwise sedate season.
During the critique, judge Len Goodman, whose Depends are usually bunched up and causing him excess irritation, said that Hope Solo’s dance was her “worst of the season,” and the crowd booed. Maks encouraged that, and Len challenged him. “Don’t start on that, Maks, because half of the fault is yours.” That began a verbal back-and-forth during which Len looked more than his usual cranky; he seemed mad, especially after saying “I’ve been in this business for 50 years,” to which Maks replied, “maybe it’s time to get out.” Hope stood quietly, looking embarassed.
Later, Maks let his ego out of its cage, and told awful co-host Brooke Burke, “With all due respect, this is my show. I helped make it what it is.”
Backstage, after the show, Maks defended that comment to reporters. “I feel like it’s my show, and together, with other pros, I dedicated six years of my life to this show. I’ve helped make it what it is, but I’ve never taken it away from anybody else who participated,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He also said that his mom liked his comments: “I got an amazing text from my mom, and I couldn’t give a fuck what anybody else says.”
Len was more contrite, now that he has fresh underwear. He told Access Hollywood, “I was a little bit aggrieved at the time, but now I’ve slept on it, and I’m sure Maks has slept on it. What he’s saying is so untrue. I am the defender of all the pros, I think all those professionals do a fantastic job. … What they’ve got to understand is they’re on trial, and we’re the judges. You can’t be a judge at your own trial! … I honestly try to be truthful and sometimes the truth hurts.”
At least one pro has criticized Maks; Derek Hough told People “I was personally extremely surprised,” saying that, in general, “I feel like the judges have been incredibly generous. But we’re all very emotional.”
Here’s the dance and confrontation: