12:22 PM EDT 07/06/2014
Originally posted 11/18/2013 07:30AM
Maksim Chmerkovskiy will make his judging debut on Dancing with the Stars on Monday and he tells PEOPLE he can't wait.
"I never thought this would happen. I'm excited to be back," he says.
The fiery dancer, who often went toe-to-toe with the judges, insists there was never any bad blood between them.
"We had our run-ins but it's like [my brother] Val and me. We are the closest of people and obviously get into arguments," he says.
Originally posted 10/28/2013 10:10PM
It was a night of overall high scores on Monday's Dancing with the Stars, but in the end, one couple had to go home.
The two couples in jeopardy were Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Sasha Farber, along with lowest scoring couple, Bill Engvall and Emma Slater.
And the results? Polizzi and Sasha Farber were eliminated in yet another shocking dismissal, closely following Christina Milian's surprising farewell a couple of weeks ago, despite their earning high scores.
Originally posted 05/21/2013 07:15PM
The final four Dancing with the Stars contestants – Jacoby Jones, Kellie Pickler, Alexandra Raisman and Zendaya – and their pro partners have overcome injuries and potential eliminations to make it all the way to the season 16 finale. But only one couple can take home the tantalizingly close mirror-ball trophy.
Pickler's strong performances throughout the season were magnified Monday night, when she and Derek Hough earned a perfect 30 score for a freestyle dance judge Carrie Ann Inaba called "one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen." Pickler later admitted "I let all of my walls down" for the fearless show-stopper.
NFL player Jones and pro partner Karina Smirnoff did not have the most stellar performances, getting flak from the judges for an imperfect jive, and later for a super-sized freestyle dance. But Inaba nevertheless dubbed the wide receiver the "number one entertainer of season 16," in the semifinals the previous week.
Originally posted 05/20/2013 10:30PM
The final four couples performed three routines each on Monday's Dancing with the Stars. By the end of the night, one pair were in the lead with a perfect score for all three dances.
However, the episode kicked off with an imperfect – though energetic – jive.
Karina Smirnoff and partner Jacoby Jones – who judge Carrie Ann Inaba previously called "the number one entertainer of season 16" – were told by judge Len Goodman that they showed improvement, but that "you got excited at times and lost it."
Originally posted 04/30/2013 11:45AM
Andy Dick and his pro partner Sharna Burgess felt a little Dancing déjà vu on Monday, when the judges once again gave them a harsh critique.
"I'm angry, because, for example, Bruno – he stands up every week and says something mean to be funny," Burgess, 27, told PEOPLE backstage after Monday night's show. "You're here to be a judge, to tell us how to be better."
Burgess does commend judge Carrie Ann Inaba for her feedback.
"As far as her giving us a five, yeah, that sucked, but she had constructive criticism at least," Burgess said. "And if she put so much importance on those dead arms, then trust me, we won't have any next week."
Originally posted 04/22/2013 10:40PM
Stevie Wonder was the guest of honor Monday night on Dancing with the Stars. Between performances by the iconic singer, the eight remaining couples competed with two dances each to his hits.
Once again, Kellie Pickler and Zendaya were atop the leaderboard – and both earned 10s for their respective routines.
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy's cha cha to "Do I Do" was "full of snap, crackle and pop," according to Len Goodman. Carrie Ann Inaba called the routine "perfection in motion." They earned 29 points.
Kellie and Derek Hough's quickstep to "Part-Time Lover" was "the best dance I've seen on season 16," Len said. Carrie Ann added, "Everything about it was perfect except there was some space in your hold." They also earned 29 points.
But Kellie and Derek finished slightly ahead of Zendaya and Val after the second routine, a team dance in which four couples performed at the same time.
Originally posted 04/15/2013 10:00PM
"Our thoughts are with everyone in Boston tonight," host Tom Bergeron said at the start of Monday's Dancing with the Stars. "My heart is with you."
After opening the show with those somber words of support for those affected by the tragedy in Boston, Dancing's hosts, judges, celebrities and professional dancers went ahead with the performance show, which featured Len Goodman's side-by-side challenge.
They remaining couples had to perform routines simultaneously with another pair of professionals – a tough task for all the dancers. But one pair managed to pull off the first 10s of season 16.
Originally posted 04/08/2013 11:15AM
Cheryl Burke is a two-time Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith. The 15-season pro will blog for PEOPLE.com while competing on season 16 with her partner, D.L. Hughley.
The last two weeks on Dancing with the Stars have been shocking. Wynonna, who was sent home, has the country fan base. We were just one point ahead of Wynonna, but after the judges' remarks, D.L. and I thought we were leaving the competition. I guess people were really pulling for us.
We try not think about the judges' scores too much. Obviously, there's room for improvement for D.L., but lately, the criticism hasn't been constructive. They've been brutal to him. At the end of the day, we're dancing for our fans and family and for each other. That's all we can really do.
On Monday, Bruno [Tonioli] said D.L. needed a hip replacement, and Len [Goodman] said if D.L.'s a sex machine then he was America's Next Top Model. That was really rough, but then on the next night, Len had a chance to say something more encouraging and he didn't. It was a rough two nights in a row. Len, especially, is a ballroom judge. Give us something we can take back.
Originally posted 03/25/2013 10:30PM
It's only the second week of competition but Monday's episode of Dancing with the Stars was tense and emotional. That's because season 16's 12 celebrities are just a day away from the first elimination.
But Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, the last couple to perform Monday, pulled out all the stops for their contemporary jazz routine, which earned 26 points.
"You are a dancer!" judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. "That was friggin' amazing!"
"Last week was a spark," Len Goodman added. "This week was a fire."
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