Think that “Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy regrets telling judge Len Goodman that he should get out of the dance business, and then pulling the ultimate diva line (“This is my show”) on last night’s episode?
Not so much. In fact, Maks — who snapped back at the judges after Len harshly criticized his rumba with soccer star Hope Solo — would tell anyone who would listen backstage after the show Monday night about how he was in the right.
* To a reporter from “Extra,” who asked Maks if he thought he went too far: “No, not really. It's not in my contract that I'm not allowed state my opinion.”
* To the Hollywood Reporter: “Len is the only one who comes from a ballroom background, and I really respect his opinion,” though then negating everything by adding “I've danced for 27 years, and I've won more titles than Len ever even participated in.” (Oh snap!)
* To E! Online: “I really liked dancing with [Hope] tonight. And to get comments that was the opposite of what it was, it wasn’t even upsetting, it was more like, ‘I have had enough!’”
In case you missed the most interesting moment of Monday’s Broadway-themed performance night, Maks and his partner were criticized after a clumsy rumba, and Len particularly took issue with Hope’s footwork.
“This is your worst dance of the whole season, in my opinion,” Len said, adding, “I’m really disappointed,” as Maks wildly waved his arm around to encourage the audience, who started booing loudly.
Len did not like this.
“Don’t start all that, Maks, half the fault is yours,” Len snapped. “I’ve been in this business for nearly 50 years, my criteria to judge is different than the audience.”
“Maybe it’s time to get out,” Maks shot back.
“Oh, wow, don’t be disrespectful like that,” fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba piped up.
“Let’s not be disrespectful to everybody, right?” Maks said, on the verge of a meltdown. “Everybody’s putting in a lot of effort. Everybody on that balcony has been dying and killing themselves only to hear your guys’ little judgmental comments.”
Cut to all the judges starting to yell at once about how it’s their job to, um, judge, and co-host Tom Bergeron trying to calm everyone down.
“I’m not being disrespectful, I’m just protecting my partner,” said Maks, determined to get the last word, and gesturing to Hope, who looked like she would rather be anywhere else.
Later in the off-stage Celebriquarium, Maks wasn’t done, telling co-host Brooke Burke Charvet, “With all due respect, this is my show, I helped make it what it is.”
“I love every aspect of it,” he continued. “Having said that, I’m a little tired that we’re being judged some on effort, and some being picked on, on heel leads.”
A show rep says ABC has no comment about the outburst. However, Len appeared on “Access Hollywood Live” on Tuesday to say that, “I tell the truth, that’s basically what I do, whether they like it or not...I honestly try to be truthful and sometimes the truth hurts.”
Here’s video of the Maks’s comments: