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Dancing With The Stars

Val Chmerkovskiy: Sherri Shepherd Will Be “a Very Difficult Act to Follow” — Exclusive!

Sherri Shepherd may not have been the most technically skilled star on Dancing With the Stars Season 14, but she was certainly the most enthusiastic. Her hilarious jokes and huge smile lit up the ballroom, and we were sad to see her and partner Val Chmerkovskiy go.

Wetpaint Entertainment had a chance to chat with Val at the Grand Opening of the Stamford, CT branch of Dance With Me Studios, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, and Val's dance studio. He dished on why working with Sherri was a great experience, the most challenging part of his job, and more.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Lots of people have said they'd like to see you and Sherri back for All-Stars. Is that a possibility?
No, that's probably not going to happen. But I have no idea. That's just my assumption. I think The View is going to have a huge issue with that. She's a huge necessity on that show. I think she makes it click the way it does, she adds a lot to the chemistry of the show, so I don't think they'll let her go. She would love to do it, though. She would love to. And I would love to do it with her, as well.

Is there anyone else you'd really like to see come back for All-Stars?
I mean I think I could really make Nicole Scherzinger dance really well. I think I could really contribute to her dance ability. I think she got gypped last time she was in the competition. If she wants a real shot at dancing well, then this is her chance. [Laughs].

What is the best and worst part of being a pro?
The best part is that you have this platform to perform in front of millions of people. I am very appreciative of that. It's a very new feeling for me. I never had this kind of exposure. I'm not some Disney kid that booked a gig on Dancing With the Stars. I'm somebody who worked for a very, very long time perfecting my craft, and to finally be able to have the opportunity to share that with the rest of the country — I'm very fortunate for that. I guess that's the best part.

The most difficult part is the fact that you have this dependent with you that doesn't know how to dance, and doesn't know anything about that aspect of it. When you get an actress it's easier because at least she understands show business. She understand how to work the camera, and how the production of it works. But then, she might not understand the work ethic that it takes. And then you have maybe a great athlete that puts in the work, but has no idea the kind of bullshit you gotta put up with in showbusiness. I guess that's the most challenging part, being able to instantly become compatible with a stranger. With an accomplished stranger and, in a lot of cases, with an accomplished stranger that knows he's an accomplished individual. So he acts in a certain way.

I've been fortunate enough to have partners that have been very respectful to me, for the most part. This season, Sherri — I don't know how I'm going to move on. I don't know how I could ever have a better partner than that. I could have somebody, maybe, that's physically more compatible to me. Maybe in better shape or less of a broad size, I don't know. But none of that will ever compare to the type of relationship we had — we have — the type of enthusiasm that she brought to the floor, the type of friendship that we created. She's a very difficult act to follow.

We were heartbroken when she got kicked off. She was so fun to watch.
Yeah, she was awesome. And she had a lot to offer. She still had a lot to show. I wish she had a chance to do so. But you know, everything happens for a reason. I don't doubt that everything is going to turn out for the best.

What are you up to during the off season?
I'm doing a lot of time with Dance With Me dance studios. I'm doing music. That's my passion and my focus off season. I said that after last season, but I got caught up in a lot of different projects. This season I'm already more of a weathered veteran in the game. I linked up with a couple of producers in LA that I'm going to work with, and a couple guys in New York. Hopefully by the beginning of next season we'll put out a single and video, get the buzz going. And then, hopefully by the beginning of next year we'll come out with an album.

What's your sound?
It's a hip-hop, R&B type of sound. It'll be different. It just cannot not be different because I am a completely different character than there's ever been in the music business, especially in that urban genre. And I'm not talking about the white guy look. I am not the typical white guy at all. My upbringing and my background and just the stories and my mindset, and the things I have to share with people, lyrically, people will find very refreshing.

For more from Val, follow him on Twitter @IamValC. And for more about Dance With Me, check out the Dance With Me Studios website.

Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.

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