Dancing With the Stars Season 14 just ended this week, but fans are already gearing up for the long-anticipated All-Stars season this fall.
Besides trying to guess which stars will be returning, fans are eager to hear more about which pros will be making their way back to the ballroom to reconnect with old faces. There's particularly concern over whether or not fan-fave Maksim Chmerkovskiy will return, after he expressed some frustration with the production in his blog.
Wetpaint Entertainment had a chance to chat with Maks about Donald Driver's win and the All-Stars season at the Grand Opening of the Stamford, CT branch of Dance With Me Studios, Maks, Tony Dovolani, and Val Chmerkovskiy's dance studio.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Excellent job on the DWTS finale. You looked great.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy: There's no judge. When you're not judged, it's always better.
How do you feel about the upcoming All-Stars season?
I'm very excited about it.
Which stars would you like to see come back?
I didn't say I'm coming back. I just said I'm very excited about it.
Are there certain stars you would you like to see return, anyway, even just to watch?
Look. I'm excited about it. I'm excited about potentially being part of it as well. I just, you know, it's a matter of right things falling into the right places. But I know how special this experience is for the stars. They only get one chance to do the show, and sometimes their chance is cut short. Those are fan favorites that we might see back. We also have some people that have gone all the way, but not all the way, if you know what I mean, so those people will be given second chances, too. You know, go from second to first. Either way I think it's going to be an amazing season. Very interesting to see who the cast is going to be.
You were rooting for Donald to win Season 14. Were you happy with the result?
I was very happy about it. But, you know, I was rooting for a lot of people. This season was astonishing as far as the level of dancing. We never had anything like it in this show before. To have Donald win was really cool because I was rooting for Peta [Murgatroyd], and also because he really isn't a dancer. So for him to go all the way — I've learned a lot of time this show is about the better dancer winning, and a lot of time the show is about the most improved person winning. And I think if it's most improved, then in that case Donald is the true winner.
On the Finale Results show, all of the dancers earned perfect scores for their last dance. Do you think that was earned, or does it defeat the point?
If you're a judge, would you really give somebody something less on their last dance? They make no decision, and they would rather just leave it all up to the viewers. At that point you've judged enough, and you've voiced your opinion enough, and now it's let the couples enjoy themselves, and let the fans truly decide.
So it's just their swan song, really.
Obviously Dancing With the Stars is hugely successful as is, but are there any format changes you'd like to see going forward?
I think we've settled into what the show is going to probably stay like, plus or minus certain things that were added this season that I could do without. But certain things were amazing, like the trio. And it wasn't because Val — luckily for us — was part of our trio, but because it was just a breath of fresh air. You know, somebody new coming into your rehearsal at that time — it was, what, week eight? — by that time you're exhausted. You spend endless hours in the studio with no windows with the person you keep staring at for the last 11 weeks so to have Val come in was amazing. And I know it was also amazing for other couples to have the presence of another person, another professional, another opinion, a third eye, whatever you want to call it. It was a lot easier than other weeks.
What are you doing during the off season? We know you'll be spending time with your new studio, but do you have anything else planned?
I think — Well I came in today, flew in today in the morning, knowing that it's going to be a busy summer, but I will have my down time. But I found out today that I'm probably not going to have any down time!
For more from Maks, follow him on Twitter @MaksimC. 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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