Dancing with the Stars is just weeks from getting underway with Season 26. Now, Maksim Chmerkovskiy is hinting that he won’t be returning to the show unless he lands a role on the judging panel, shortly after former judge Julianne Hough confirmed that she won’t be returning.
Speaking to Mass Live in a new interview, Maksim admitted that he’d love to join the judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli as a judge after suggesting that he may not be willing to return to the show as a professional dancer.
When asked if he has any plans to head back to dancer, Maksim said that he probably won’t be returning to team up with a contestant, likely due to his current tour commitments and his expanding family. He and wife Peta Murgatroyd welcomed their son Shai into the world in January 2017 and even shared footage of his first steps with the world on social media.
“I love the show, but I have other interests at the moment,” Maksim said of a DWTS return after appearing as a guest judge on various episode of the ABC dancing show over the years.
“I would have loved to judge and transition into that, but it’s not my call. It’s not up to me,” Chmerkovskiy continued in the interview. “I just don’t think I can do the show as a professional dancer at 100 percent and give it my all anymore. I am at a different point in my life.”
Chmerkovskiy then added that he would “love” a gig as a judge rather than a professional dancer and seemingly hinted that he won’t be back on the show again unless he lands a seat on the panel.
“That’s my thing. That’s my medium [and] that’s what I know. I know exactly what I am looking at. I know exactly what I want it to be and exactly how to influence someone to do better in that genre,” Chmerkovskiy continued of judging on DWTS.
“That’s what a judge should do, in addition to adding to the production,” Maksim added. “If that’s in my future, I would gladly accept it. If not, there are other opportunities. We are always moving forward.”
Maksim’s confessions come shortly after Julianne Hough confirmed that she won’t be judging on Season 26 when it gets underway on April 30, despite appearing on the panel from Seasons 19 to 21 and then again on both 23 and 24.
Speaking to Access Hollywood in March, Juliane confirmed that she won’t be on DWTS Season 26 but suggested that she could return to the series again at some point in the future.
“I love the show. I’ll always be a part of either the show somehow — Dancing with the Stars — or just being a part of like the movement of dance,” she said.
Dancing with the Stars producers haven’t confirmed if they plan to offer Maksim a spot on the judging panel for Season 26 or on any future seasons. However, it’s unlikely the dancer, his brother Val Chmerkovskiy, or wife Peta Murgatroyd will appear on the upcoming shows in any capacity.
The family trio is currently touring the U.S. on their 2018 tour, titled “Maks, Val & Peta Live on Tour: Confidential,” which means it’s pretty unlikely any of the DWTS pros will find time to pair up with any stars during the impeding athletes-only season that will see sports stars go head to head.
Dancing with the Stars Season 26 is set to premiere on ABC on April 30. BuddyTV reports that the official cast list will be announced on ABC’s Good Morning America on April 13.