Dwts Maks Shirtless
Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC

Kirstie Alley, a nation of googly-eyed women owe you a debt of gratitude. It was Alley’s idea to get Maksim Chmerkovskiy to go topless for their Fox Trot during Monday’s Dancing with the Stars (which earned them 23 out of 30 points). “I wanted it reminiscent of when I was in high school in the early ’70s when the first American Woman came out,” Alley told reporters afterwards. “They had no shirts all the time. I begged him and I honestly didn’t know if he would do it even until today.”

In contrast, it was a lot easier to convince John Travolta to serve as their “dance doctor” during rehearsals — though it helped the actor was a huge fan of Chmerkovskiy. “He said verbatim, `Maks is the best thing to happen to dance since me.’ Before he left he took me aside and said he really feels like Maks could do films. You know how John did when he did dancing films, he would change the whole culture, the way people dressed, the way people talked. He feels that way about Maks.”

“The whole thing was a bit surreal because she didn’t tell me,” added Chmerkovskiy “We’re sitting at her house, we’re filming a package, great. Boom, he walks in. I’m like whoa. You rarely meet a big [star], you know, it’s probably like him and I don’t know maybe Al Pacino for me and [Barack] Obama, I don’t know. And, you feel like wow. And so when he said that, I was like, okay, that’s a little much. So I told him afterward that it’s been an amazing experience and thank you for an opportunity like that.” — With reporting from Carrie Borzillo

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