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Maksim Chmerkovskiy and his mighty mouth

Maksim Chmerkovskiy bills himself as the bad boy of the ballroom, but he knows what he’s talking about.  Haven’t fans been a little uneasy since Bristol Palin? So he had something to say last night on “Dancing with the Stars,” when Len Goodman told his celebrity partner Hope Solo that she had just performed her worst dance of the season.

That rumba wasn’t great, it wasn’t sexy, but at least Solo looks happy. She has such an electric smile, but it’s her footwork that is hard to watch.

So what exactly did Chmerkovskiy say?

It began with Goodman commenting, “This is your worst dance of the whole season.” He continued, after admonishing Chmerkovskiy for encouraging the audience boos, by saying, “I’ve been in this business for nearly 50 years…”

Chmerkovskiy couldn’t resist adding, “Maybe it’s time to get out…”

At which time, Carrie Ann Inaba told Chmerkovskiy, “Don’t be disrespectful like that.”

Chmerkovskiy defended his comment by saying it hurts when the dancers and celebrities “hear you guys a little judgmental comment.” I think we can fault his English, but perhaps the comments of the judges go a bit far out of line.

Chmervkovskiy later said, “This is my show…I helped make it what it is” and he was tired of having the celebrities “judged on their so-called potential.”

We also had high hopes for Hope Solo and didn’t figure out that her biggest challenge was learning to walk in high heels and be girly.

Yet, don’t you think the judges are being a little bit too easy on someone like Chaz Bono? We found Bono a little whiny, particularly since he’s not the oldest contestant. He’s also not the first overweight contestant either.

See the clips from “Access Hollywood” with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover

“Cute little penguin,” is what judge Bruno Tonioli called Bono and I thought that was kind. Bono and Schwimmer feel that the judges have a personal dislike of him. Seriously? Tonioli might have been unnecessarily cruel to singer Michael Bolton (“It was a doggy mess of a jive. You did it all very, very, very badly”), but he’s been quite kind and even indulgent to Bono in my opinion.

I think Goodman could have been stricter with Bono. Bono doesn’t have much personality on stage.

Remember, Chmerkovskiy spoke out about that season when the dancers and the celebrities were being overworked. That was the season Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson won the mirrorball. Season 9 the contestants were asked to perform:  cha cha cha, jive, rumba, tango, paso doble, samba, waltz, quickstep, foxtrot, Argentine tango, Viennese waltz, salsa, salsa/Viennese waltz relay, foxtrot/cha cha cha relay, two-step/Charleston/bolero/lambada, hustle group, mambo marathon, team paso doble/tango, megamix and freestyle.  Compare that to season 5. Marie Osmond made it to the semi-finals, but consider there were only these dances: cha cha cha, foxtrot, quickstep, mambo, jive, tango, Viennese waltz, paso doble, rumba, samba, and freestyle. That’s 11 dances during season 5 compared to 20.

Season 11 had only 15 dances, including one team and a winner-take-all cha cha cha. That season was won by Jennifer Grey who sometimes got tens when there were obvious missteps, but the judging seemed to be more generous when it became clear that Bristol Palin was going to make it to the semi-finals.

Chmerkovskiy’s partner that season was Grammy Award-winning singer Brandy. Brandy was cut, but Palin moved to the finals. Luckily the energetic and ever entertaining Kyle Massey with Lacey Schwimmer finished second. Chmerkovskiy’s partner during season 5 was Mel B who finished second behind Helio Castroneves (with Julianne Hough).

There are personalities that make DWTS interesting and certainly Maksim Chmerkovskiy is one of them. He makes the show interesting–in terms of choreography and his clashes with his partners.

Without personalities like Chmerkovskiy, Julianne Hough, Derek Hough, Tony Dovolani and Cheryl Burke, I don’t think the show would have been successful.

And when things get a bit dull, it’s good to have pros who liven up the situation (or even a judge like Bruno Tonioli).

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