Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC Television Group © 2014 Disney Photo: Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Week 6

UPDATE: If Derek's "insecure" comment didn't sit well with you, you're not alone — it didn't sound quite right to Derek either. On August 4, he tweeted this clarification: "For the record a comment I made in today's USA Today about Maks was taken out of context . I was speaking about that amazing week when he opened up on camera and Meryl was there for him . Insecure is definitely the wrong word. vulnerable is is the word I should have used. Apologies to Maks and to his fans."

Original story:

Derek Hough’s book, Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion, is coming out tomorrow (August 5), but while he was still on tour with his sister Julianne Hough, he previewed some of the book’s leading lessons with USA Today.

One lesson references Derek’s fellow DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who has affectionately and not-so-affectionately been dubbed The Bad Boy of the Ballroom. That lesson was labeled “Power over others is weakness in disguise,” and it’s likely to raise some eyebrows — and do nothing to heal rifts in the respective Maks and Derek fandoms.


Derek told USA Today that Maks and his Season 18 champion Meryl Davis were never dating, the show just created a storyline for them, with Meryl as the coach and Maks as the student. "I've always known this," Derek said, "but (Maks) is incredibly insecure. He's not confident in what he does as much as he puts it out. So he overcompensates. If you think about it, that's why people lash out, get angry or frustrated - is out of fear. If you're very confident in who you are, you wouldn't have reason to lash out."
 

Maks probably wouldn’t disagree with the idea that he has insecurities, but is it different when a fellow pro publicly calls you out on it? (This is now the second Hough family member to call out Maks, after guest judge Julianne accused Maks of phoning in his Switch Up dance.)

Back in Season 18, Week 6, Maks exposed his fears during Tango rehearsals with Meryl, reliving the drama of Julianne accusing him of phoning it in. Meryl said the problem was that he was questioning himself. Maks said he wasn’t scared, he was terrified. In the back of his mind he could see this as the season where he could finally win. He didn’t want to get sucked into the competition, since he saw that as his mistake in past seasons, but he was right back in that mindset. “I must be the weakest friggin person in this cast,” he confessed. Their Tango ended up being one of their best dances, and of course they went on to win the season.

After Maks won, he immediately went over to Derek and said he couldn’t believe that Derek had the stamina to go through all of that for five wins. Derek said he was happy for Maks, and his win was a long time coming.

The guys may be fine with each other, and even fine with Derek mentioning Maks’s insecurity, but the fans are a different story. They passionately defend their favorite pros, and they’ve already taken sides on Derek's comments in discussions online. But maybe that’s another classic life lesson for us all: If you don’t have anything nice to say ... don’t say anything at all?

DWTS Season 19 premieres Monday, September 15 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

SourceUSA Today