Dancing with the Stars has been accused of being rigged on multiple occasions over the years, and now professional dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, and Mark Ballas are speaking about the rumors — and the worst contestants to compete the show — after Good Morning America confirmed the first star to join the line-up for Season 25.
Amid much speculation, it was confirmed during the August 30 episode of the ABC morning show that Property Brothers star Drew Scott is the first officially confirmed celebrity contestant for Season 25.
The reality star’s twin brother, Jonathan Scott, joked that he was “the brother with the rhythm” in a video message he sent to Drew during the GMA broadcast, adding that his twin and HGTV co-star should reach out “if you need somebody who is going to show you some of the moves.”
Drew will be taking to the ballroom with professional dancer Emma Slater.
The rest of the cast has yet to be confirmed by the show, though WWE diva and Total Divas star Nikki Bella is another rumored contestant this year. Singing legend Celine Dion’s name has also been thrown into the mix over the past few weeks.
While Good Morning America is gearing up to announce the full celebrity cast on September 6, it’s the professional dancers who are doing all the talking ahead of the big DWTS premiere next month.
Maksim, his wife Peta, and fellow DWTS pro Mark spoke out about the series in a new interview with Us Weekly where the group addressed statements Maksim made about the show in the past where he claimed the process may be rigged.
“It’s a TV show. It has to have its roller coaster of ups and downs. We all understand how the show runs. Let’s put it that way,” Peta said in response to her husband’s previous allegations.
The drama and rigging allegations boiled over once again earlier this year after Maksim was shockingly eliminated when dancing with former Glee star Heather Morris, who was widely reported to be the favorite to take home the famous DWTS mirrorball trophy during Season 24.
“I think everyone is guilty of feeling that in the moment, but if the show was rigged, don’t you think they would have been busted by now?” Mark then jumped in while addressing allegations of the series somehow being rigged. “Sometimes the best dancer doesn’t win.”
Maksim also spoke about his worst experience on DWTS amid all the latest rigging talk, admitting that he’s definitely had his share of “hard partners” over the years.
The Dancing with the Stars pro dancers didn’t name names in the new interview, but he appeared to suggest that he’s had some partners over the past few years who weren’t exactly nice people.
“I don’t defend partners who are not nice people,” he told the magazine this week, admitting that some athletes who have competed on the ABC show haven’t necessarily always been there for the right reasons.
“Some of these athletes come on the show for the wrong reasons. It can be their management pushing them to do it,” he said of some of Dancing with the Star’s past celebrity contestants who come from sporting backgrounds. “They don’t know what they’re getting into. They say, ‘This isn’t what my agent told me would happen.’ I say, ‘You should’ve done better research.'”
Peta also confirmed that she’s danced with a few “conspiracy theorists” who believed that DWTS was rigged against that.
The full list of DWTS celebrity contestants is set to be confirmed on Good Morning America on September 6. Dancing with the Stars Season 25 will then return to screens on September 18 on ABC.
[Featured Image by Monica Schipper/Getty Images]