That seemed to be the pro’s perspective on Monday after he and Judge Len Goodman butted heads over the quality of his rumba with Hope Solo. (It earned a mere 20 out of 30). After Goodman called it their “worst dance of the season,” Chmerkovskiy lost his cool: First he suggested that “maybe it’s time” for Goodman to leave the business after the elder judge talked about being in it for 50 years, and then the hot pro got downright indignant when Carrie Ann Inaba chided him for being disrespectful. (Video embedded below.)
“With all due respect, this is my show,” Chmerkovskiy said to Brooke Charvet in the skybox. “I helped make it what it is. I love every aspect of it. I love every professional that has ever been here, and I love every celebrity that puts effort into it every week. Having said that, I’m a little tired that we are being judged, some on effort and some, being picked on (for) our heel leads.” (Among other things, Goodman also took issue with Solo’s choice of footwear).
After the show, Chermerkovskiy had yet to cool off. “It just kind of came to the point where I kind of had enough,” he told reporters. “It’s like give us a bad score, don’t call us out. Say it wasn’t my cup of tea…we’ll take the criticism. Don’t tell me it was your worst dance of the season because you’re an idiot, you know it’s not true. I’ve also danced for 27 years and I’ve won more titles than Len ever even participated in. That’s not to disrespect his opinion because we’ve all been here for 13 seasons. I’m just not going to sit back and let my partner get disrespected.”
As for that comment about DWTS being “his” show, Chmerkovskiy first tried to deny saying it before explaining, “I feel like it’s my show and together with other pros I’ve dedicated six years of my life to this show and I’ve helped make it what it is. But I never took it away from everybody else who participated.”
At least one of his fellow pros supported his outburst. Lacey Schwimmer — who was upset with Judge Bruno Tonioli for calling a tuxedo-clad Chaz Bono a “cute little penguin” on Monday — said she’d like to occasionally talk back to the judges but just doesn’t have the guts. “Regardless of what Maks said or if he hurt people’s feelings, he had the courage to stand up for him and his partner and I think that is amazing,” she said. “A lot of us wish we would say stuff, but we never do. We’re afraid of it.”
As for Tonioli’s comment about her partner, “It’s hard to hear your friend bullied by three people we are supposed to respect and called names like animals. It’s unnecessary, it’s rude. I feel embarrassed to be standing there when he doesn’t deserve to be treated like that. I actually lost it backstage. I was crying because I was so hurt. It’s awful.”
Not everybody took the row between Chmerkovskiy and Goodman so seriously. “I have so much to say, but I’m not going to say anything,” said Pro Derek Hough. “As a seasoned professional, you should know not to do that, I think. There’s sort of an amount of self control…”
As for Chmerkovksiy saying it was “his” show, Hough quipped, “We’ve all had a laugh about that.”