Val Chmerkovskiy Reveals His ‘Biggest Heartbreak’ On ‘Dancing With The Stars’

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Dancing with the Stars pro Val Chmerkovskiy is opening up about one of his most upsetting moments during his stint on the popular ABC dancing show. Chmerkovskiy recently spoke out about one thing he seriously regrets after first joining the series back in 2011, admitting that he’ll always regret not winning the show when he competed with Zendaya on Season 16.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight in a new interview, Val said that losing out on the mirrorball trophy while competing with The Greatest Showman actress in 2013 was a “huge heartbreak.”

“My biggest heartbreak was on Dancing with the Stars, not winning with Zendaya, honestly,” Val said. “That was a huge heartbreak for me because she was 16.”

The DWTS star then continued by adding that he hoped he’d be able to see the star lift the mirrorball trophy, which eventually went to country singer and former American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler and her professional partner Derek Hough.

“I wanted this to be such a huge moment for her. She worked so hard, and I really wanted her to lift that trophy and jump-start her career,” Val recalled. “She didn’t lift the trophy and I felt heartbroken about that.”

Val then added that he wishes he could go back and compete with the star again with all the extra knowledge he has about dance and the show now.

“I wish I could go back and have another chance at that season, because I feel like she was an incredible talent and I could’ve done better,” Chmerkovskiy told ET this week, adding that over the past few years he thinks he’s progressed both as a dancer and a teacher and would be able to go all the way with her now.

Zendaya and Val came pretty close to lifting the infamous DWTS winner’s trophy five years ago but ended the competition as runners-up in second place.

But despite not winning, Chmerkovskiy added that just appearing on the show and getting some exposure was enough to kickstart Zendaya’s career, which has gone from strength to strength since they competed together on the ABC dancing show in 2013.

Val Chmerkovskiy calls losing 'Dancing with the Stars' with Zendaya his biggest regret
Val and Zendaya in 2014.Featured image credit: Michael BucknerGetty Images

“It jump-started her career anyway. That’s when you learn that it’s not necessarily always about winning or losing,” Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s brother continued. “It’s really about learning through the process and then using those tools to further yourself down the road.”

Dancing with the Stars is set to return to TV later this year for its first ever athletes only season.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed back in November, shortly after Jordan Fisher was crowned the winner of Season 25, that Season 26 would be a mini-season made up exclusively of sports stars.

Val hasn’t yet officially confirmed if he’ll be appearing on the upcoming short season of the show, though it’s pretty unlikely that DWTS fans will see him, his brother Maksim Chmerkovskiy, or sister-in-law Peta Murgatroyd on the dance floor again when the first round of show of 2018 premieres in the spring.

According to the tour dates currently listed on, the family members will be making their way around the U.S. from March 19 until May 16, which means it’s pretty unlikely the Chmerkovskiy brothers or Murgatroyd will find time to compete in the impending round of shows.

Dancing with the Stars’ scaled down, athletes only Season 26 is expected to debut on ABC in April.