What the heck happened today?
Last we heard, Dancing With the Stars pro Derek Hough was out for the spring 2013 Season 16, but planned to return for the fall 2013 season. And Maksim Chmerkovskiy was leaving the show at the end of the year, which left two more seasons for the pro. But now things are topsy-turvy, with Derek returning for the spring 2013 season and Maks reportedly not coming back.
Today (Friday, Feb. 22), Derek tweeted, "Just got the call wasn't sure if I was able to do this season because of my other projects . But worked it out so I can do both. #pumped." Also today, Maks tweeted, "BAM! Someone landed in LA LA LAND! So many peeps to catch up with! So much exciting stuff coming up! #OutWithTheOld."
Derek's tweet is more straightforward. The Maks is quitting news comes via TMZ. As they wrote today, "Sources close to the production tell us ... Maksim spoke with producers a few days ago and informed them that he wouldn't be returning for the upcoming season. [...] We're told Maksim wants to stay in the entertainment world ... and is currently pursuing movie and TV projects."
We've heard about Maks quitting before, and it's always turned into a false alarm, or at least a delayed alarm. Who knows what's going on this time. We'll have to wait for Maks to confirm/deny or just wait until Tuesday (February 26) when the official DWTS Season 16 cast will be revealed. So many changes! It's hard to know what to believe. But how do you feel about this potentially bittersweet news? Happy about Derek coming back? Upset about Maks possibly leaving (and maybe never coming back)?
UPDATE: Here's a tweet from Maks's #1 Twitter fan site:
Bad sign for Maks fans!
So far it sounds like, in addition to Maks, Kym Johnson is also probably out, due to Celebrity Apprentice Australia. Tony Dovolani, Val Chmerkovskiy, and Cheryl Burke appear to be in, along with Derek and new pro So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 alum Lindsay Arnold, in some capacity. Tristan MacManus should also be coming back (he'd better!) along with (maybe?) Mark Ballas and ... who else? No idea. All these mysteries are making us nervous!
UPDATE: We have a second new pro coming! Sort of. Sharna Burgess of the DWTS pro troupe has been bumped up to competing pro. She tweeted late Feb. 22, "I am so exited and honored to announce that I have made PRO on #dwts :)))) I meet my celebrity this week!!!" Congrats, Sharna!
Sources: TMZ, @DerekHough, @MaksimC, @DWTSGossip
Dancing With the Stars Season 16 premieres Monday, March 18 on ABC.