If Julianne Hough’s plan was to get a reaction and stir up some controversy, she did her job well on Dancing With the Stars Season 18, Week 4!
The DWTS pro champ-turned-guest judge made an eyebrow-raising comment to Maksim Chmerkovskiy, saying it looked like he was phoning in his Switch Up Jive with Danica McKellar, just wanting to get back to his original partner Meryl Davis.
Maks, his brother Valentin Chmerkovskiy, one of Val’s previous partners, and Julianne herself all weighed in with further comments after the show, but what did other Season 18 stars and pros think?
“That comment was not true in the least,” Danica told TODAY. “I don’t know why she said it. I can’t get inside her head.” Sharna Burgess called Julianne’s comment “an unfair thing to say,” adding that “All Maks did was be there for Danica to make sure she was getting through their routine.” They had technical issues with the music, and had to recover.
Cheryl Burke kept it pretty diplomatic, telling TODAY, “[Julianne’s comment] was a little bit inappropriate. Some people have chemistry from the beginning. Some don’t, but it doesn’t mean that Maks wasn’t trying.” Yes. True. Maks clearly has a spring in his step with Meryl, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t care about Danica. It’s hard to imagine he’d ever phone in a routine — especially when it would negatively impact a contestant, and especially when that contestant is paired with his brother. Maks would never intentionally do something to hurt Val’s chances.
However, NeNe Leakes sided with the sister of her Switch Up partner, Derek Hough. “I have to agree with Julianne,” NeNe told TODAY. “It felt like [Maks] wanted to be back with Meryl — he probably does! What professional dancer doesn’t want to dance with another professional dancer?” Bloop! We see what you did there, Linnethia.
Julianne admitted that Maks was her “Mark” of the season, referencing her criticism of Mark Ballas on Season 17; so if she returns for Season 19, we’ll have to see who becomes her next target.
Did you agree with Julianne’s comment to Maks, or did you find it inappropriate? Should she stick to judging the celebs or do you like when she critiques her fellow pros?