Everyone on Dancing with the Stars claims to be friends. And sometimes they're more than friends — dating, getting married, breaking up, etc. But we're here to talk about the sweet, longtime platonic friendships on DWTS. The relationships that give us the warm-and-fuzzies and make us forget about their occasional spats...
Derek and li'l sis Julianne are two of the five Hough siblings from Sandy, Utah. As youths, Derek and Julianne were sent to London to live and study with their dance coaches, Corky and Shirley Ballas. In London, the Houghs studied dance alongside the Ballas' own son, Mark. And there a dynamic trio was born. Derek, Mark and Julianne formed a pop group called "2B1G" ("2 Boys 1 Girl") and later BFFs Mark and Derek would form the Ballas Hough Band, performing together on a DWTS Results Show. Mark and Julianne were a couple on-and-off the dance floor in their youth and they won several dance competitions together. Last season, after Derek won his second Mirror Ball trophy, the trio flashed peace signs in a photo to mark their total of six Mirror Ball wins as a group. Of course now it's seven, with Derek's latest win, which will probably launch a playful new rivalry.
Check out this video of 2B1G on the British show Barrymore:
Most of the celeb/pro partnerships on this show have lasted long after the dancing is done. But there's something special about the friendship and almost paternal mentoring between Kelly and Louis. Kelly says "Louis van Amstel and Dancing with the Stars changed my life." She credits her Season 9 partner with helping her get her sick body, healthy attitude, and overall cheerfulness. (Remember when she was a sullen goth chick?) Louis is incredibly proud of her and they continue to support each other in person, in interviews and over Twitter. They're probably the sweetest non-couple the show's ever had.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy & Tony Dovolani
Tony, who was born in Yugoslavia, moved to the United States as a teenager. Maks, who was born in Ukraine, also moved to the U.S. with his family as a young man. Their backgrounds as highly disciplined and competitive dancers from Eastern Europe seems to have bonded them — along with both being crazy hot. To quote a Stamford Magazine story about Tony: "Tony's fellow Dancing with the Stars professional Maksim 'Maks' Chmerkovskiy says his best friend's success has everything to do with his experience fleeing an oppressive regime. 'When you come over here the way he did, dodging bullets, you take nothing for granted,' says Maks, who emigrated from Ukraine. 'And Tony is an athlete. To get to the top of your game, in any professional sport, you don’t go out there thinking, 'Oh I hope I come in second.' You want to win.'"
Tony, Maks and their fellow dancer Elena Grinenko created a website called the Ballroom Dance Channel and Tony and Maks have interviewed each other for the site. The two make appearances together sometimes — like here at a Washington mall — and set fans' hearts ablaze, even though Tony is happily married with kids.
Here's more from Maks, talking to Have U Heard?