Robin Roberts asked about the reactions of Maks' fellow pros. She brought up how Derek Hough had supported the judges, but she didn't mention how Derek did say in another interview that he was kind of in Maks' shoes at one point during Season 6: when he lashed out at the judges over his Rumba with Shannon Elizabeth. That decision bit him in the butt — he and Shannon were eliminated the next week.
But when Robin mentioned Derek's support for the judges, Maks jumped in with this: "Derek Hough has been very supportive of his personal career on the show. When you say the judges have been generous, with all due respect, if I had Nicole Scherzinger, followed by Jennifer Grey, followed by Ricki Lake, I probably would not be very upset with the judges either."
Them's fightin' words. True, some fans have done more than whisper that Derek tends to get the best partners, and that's why he's won three times, but is that really true? Or does he just maximize those opportunities in the smartest way? Does he really get better partners than Maks, or two-time winner Mark Ballas, or anyone else?
Maks has danced with Mel B., Erin Andrews, Brandy Norwood and Hope Solo, to name a few. How did they lack the potential of Mirror Ball winners Nicole and Jennifer — or current dancer Ricki? And what about Mark's winning Olympians, Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson? He also got Chelsea Kane and Kristin Cavallari — making him the go-to guy for hot young thangs.
This season Karina Smirnoff got lucky, paired with the talented and popular J.R. Martinez, putting her in the best position to win. Even she was surprised to get him after already having such a great partner in Ralph Macchio last season. And would you really say Kym Johnson lucked out with the best partner when she won with Donny Osmond on Season 9? Derek had a great dancer in Joanna Krupa that season, but they were shut out of the finals, just like Maks with Brandy on Season 11.
Is Derek targeted because he gets the best partners? Or just because he’s managed to win the most times with the partners he gets?