Maksim Chmerkovskiy is leaving Dancing With the Stars, and there is speculation that his budding relationship with Jennifer Lopez could be the reason behind it.
Chmerkovskiy announced this week that he’s leaving the ABC show, saying that at 34 he was ready to hang up the dancing shoes.
“I’m done dancing [on] ‘Dancing With the Stars,'” Maks said during a visit to The View. “I feel like it’s time.”
“It’s an amazing thing and I’m blessed. I feel very honored. Like I said, I look like a lot of things but inside I’m genuinely happy and I love this experience.”
Maksim Chmerkovskiy had one of the longest runs in the show’s history, appearing in 14 out of 18 seasons.
This is not the first time he’s left the show. Maks left back in 2013 after the Season 16 finale, then made a guest appearance on Season 17 before returning for Season 18.
In his final year, Maksim finally won the Mirror Ball trophy — and kicked off plenty of speculation the he was dating partner Meryl Davis.
Maks himself fueled much of this speculation, gushing over Meryl and even implying that he might leave the show for her.
“I want Meryl to be the last person I dance with,” he said during an interview with Social Life magazine, “the last person I got to be passionate with and care so much for.”
In the end, Maks said he had just grown tired of the show and was ready to leave.
“I lost the show. I stayed away, and when I came back, the show was not the same,” he continued. “I was different… certain things aggravated me unnecessarily. When I came back, I saw amazing talent — Val included with everybody the new pros and some people that I haven’t worked with — and I looked at it and I was like, look they can do so much more and so much better and I’m taking up a huge spot and I don’t wanna take it up anymore.”
But many people think there’s another relationship to blame for Maksim Chmerkovsiy leaving Dancing With The Stars. He is rumored to be dating Jennifer Lopez, and many believe he is leaving the show so he can spend more time with her. Even The View co-host Sherri Shepherd implied that J. Lo could need Maks for one of her backup dancers, prompting a smile from Maksim but no reply.