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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 6

'Dancing' pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy chimes in on sixth-season pairs

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/03/2008 

Maksim Chmerkovskiy's two feet might not be part of Dancing with the Stars upcoming sixth-season, but the professional apparently has no qualms with providing his two cents on some of the pairings.

Since Brazilian Helio Castorneves and his professional partner Julianne Hough took home the fifth-season mirror ball trophy last fall, Chmerkovskiy said he likes the sixth-season odds for telenovela actor and ABC-billed "Latin American heartthrob" Christian de la Fuente and his partner, two-time Dancing with the Stars champ Cheryl Burke.

"He's a good-looking dude -- and Latin -- and has that swagger," said Chmerkovskiy in TV Guide's March 3 issue.  "And Cheryl knows how to do her thing, getting people to the finals."

Chmerkovskiy is also aware the success NFL stars -- such as second-season runner-up Jerry Rice and third-season champ Emmitt Smith -- have had in the competition, so he's a fan of Jason Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska in the sixth season.

"I really like Jason, Chmerkovskiy told TV Guide.  "He and Edyta are going to do great together and make a beautiful couple."

Sticking with the success athletes have had on the show, Chmerkovskiy feels Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and her partner Mark Ballas also make a good couple.

"Her pairing is one of the better ones... because they're alike," he told TV Guide.  "Kristi's quick and Mark is quick."

Height similarities also play a role in the success Dancing with the Stars' couples have, which is one of the reasons Chmerkovskiy believes nine-time Grand Slam winning professional tennis player Monica Seles and her partner Jonathan Roberts should be in the running.

"Monica is a proven athlete, trained and physically able," he told TV Guide.  "I like her pairing with Jonathan because she's tall and he's tall.  They're a good match."

In the same vein, Chmerkovskiy said height can also be a disadvantage and could hinder Tony Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur and her partner Tony Dovolani.

"She's like 5-feet and she's with a [6-foot] guy!" Chmerkovskiy told TV Guide.  "In ballroom, we like the couples to be more the same height."

Chmerkovskiy is "taking time off" from Dancing with the Stars sixth season and is expected to return to the show for its Fall 2008 seventh installment.  In the meantime, he's choreographed the Wynn Hotel's La Reve theatrical water show in Las Vegas; finished production on a new Dancing with the Stars fitness DVD with Burke; and will continue to work with students at his Rising Stars Dance Academy in Saddlebrook, NJ.

In addition, Chmerkovskiy also had a cameo in the February 26 All My Children broadcast, in which he played himself teaching females on the ABC soap opera how to pole dance.

"When I got to [All My Children], they were shocked that I've never done pole dancing before," he told TV Guide.  "Like, why would I?  But I figured it out and tried to keep it clean."

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