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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 7

Maksim Chmerkovskiy confirms he'll return to 'Dancing' next season


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/13/2008 

Maksim Chmerkovskiy has spent a season away from Dancing with the Stars, and it was apparently one too many for the popular professional as he confirmed plans to return for the show's seventh edition this fall.

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"I'm definitely going to be back," said Chmerkovskiy during Tuesday's Good Morning America broadcast.  "It's an amazing show and I missed it.  I'm admitting it on national TV."

Chmerkovskiy first indicated he was leaving Dancing with the Stars following last fall's fifth-season finale, in which he finished as the runner-up with Spice Girl Melanie Brown. Several days later he chalked up those comments to being "very stressed out" at the time he made them and clarified he was "not quitting the show."

However the day before Dancing with the Stars sixth-season cast pairings were revealed, Chmerkovskiy's representative and an ABC spokesperson told People he would not be competing.

He subsequently said he "made a deal with the producers" who "were kind enough to give me a break" before promising he'd "be back next season, all refreshed and ready to go."

Chmerkovskiy said he realized how much he missed the show after performing with Brown during last Tuesday night's Dancing with the Stars 100th episode special.

"It was coming back and dancing with Mel last week -- seeing everybody and meeting everybody," he told GMA.  "I hadn't been to L.A. this whole entire season.  I've been trying to stay away.  I miss it so I can't wait."

Never one to shy away from what's on his mind, Chmerkovskiy also took the opportunity to handicap the sixth-season's four celebrity semifinalists -- Kristi Yamaguchi, Jason Taylor, Cristian de la Fuente and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

"The best dancer on the show is clearly Kristi Yamaguchi.  But that's been clear since Day 1," said Chmerkovskiy, who has twice stated he doesn't think she actually has a shot at winning since she's a woman

In addition, Chmerkovskiy said he thinks de la Fuente tearing a tendon in his bicep actually helped the telenovela star awake from a funk and ride it to the semifinals.

"Cristian with his one arm, I think that actually spiked it up for him a little bit because he was very quiet and under the radar.  Then he had this injury and now he's coming out with these amazing Latin performances," said Chmerkovskiy.  "I think he's a lot more active now.  He's trying to camouflage that he only uses 50% of his body."

Chmerkovskiy added the only semifinalist he's stunned is still around is Winokur.

"I'm really surprised about Marissa being here still.  I think everybody is," he said.  "She's been probably thought about leaving in week two or three, and now she's in the semifinals."

(Photo credit ABC)


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