Right off the bat, most fans are going to notice that the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars will have a few big differences. For one, it will span just four weeks instead of the usual 10, and some of the most loved pros won’t be there to help the stars try and win the Mirror Ball trophy. Also, neither of the Chmerkovskiy brothers will be there, so why isn't Maks Chmerkovskiy on DWTS Season 26?
The show is going to be a little different to be sure, but it’s going to feel even more strange without his usual confidence and charisma. He’s been a staple of the dancing competition show for years and most dedicated fans have watched his relationship with fellow pro Peta Murgatroyd blossom from a couple who went through a breakup to a now-married pair with a 15-month-old baby as well.
I know, it feels almost wrong to have a season of DWTS and not have Chmerkovskiy there. But if it makes you feel any better, he’s going to be absent for a good reason. Along with his brother, Val Chmerkovskiy, and his wife, Murgatroyd, Chmerkovskiy is currently on tour performing their Confidential dance show story that’s also autobiographical for the couple. It chronicles their relationship, breakup, makeup, marriage, and parenthood as well. Since the trio is on tour right now working on the show together, that leaves little time for DWTS, which means no Chmerkovskiy this season.
Back in 2016, Chmerkovskiy and his brother went on tour with a similar show, only it was more about their life together as brothers growing up in Ukraine, learning dance, and making the move to America. Now, the story is more fleshed out, with the addition of Murgatroyd and together they’ve created a whole new show entirely. That’s all well and good for those who get to see them perform live on tour, but for those of us who watch DWTS partly for Chmerkovskiy’s talent, it’s kind of heartbreaking. But prepare yourselves, because it’s about to get even worse.
Chmerkovskiy recently revealed to MassLive.com that at this point in his life, DWTS doesn't quite fit into it. "Everything that is up to me, I do at 100 percent and then give it my all," the professional dancer said. "I just don’t think I can do [Dancing With the Stars] as a professional dancer at 100 percent and give it my all anymore." He further added that:
We had a very successful Maks and Val tour and we looked at each other and said, 'This is amazing.' People responded to it and we responded to it ... It was the most meaningful job I ever had.
That’s not to say that Chmerkovskiy doesn't appreciate the time he had with DWTS, but according to him, he’d be more likely to come back in a different capacity as a judge instead of a pro dancer. He has acted as guest judge several times throughout his course on the show and Julianne Hough, who served as judge for several seasons, started out as a dancer on the show too, so it's definitely possible.
But for right now, Chmerkovskiy seems to be enjoying his tour and not exactly missing the daily rehearsals and weekly TV performances of DWTS. I’m inclined to believe that maybe at some point in the future, he’ll be back to be a judge, but right now, fans of the show will have to live without Chmerkovskiy as one of the pros.
Season 26 premieres on Monday, April 30 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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