The cast and judges of the ABC competition have gotten heated over the years. Chmerkovskiy, for his part, has found himself at odds with several of his celebrity partners, including Kirstie Alley (season 12), Hope Solo (season 13) and Vanessa Lachey (season 25). The professional dancer also got into it with the judges panel in 2011 after Len Goodman called his and Solo’s rumba their “worst dance of the season.”
After Chmerkovskiy argued with Goodman’s critique, the Brit pointed out that he’s “been in this business for 50 years.”
The dancer quipped back, “Then maybe it’s time to go!”
Chmerkovskiy added backstage, “With all due respect, this is my show. I helped make it what it is.”
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter at the time, Chmerkovskiy insisted that he respects Goodman’s opinion, but didn’t apologize for his “my show” remark.
“I’ve danced for 27 years, and I’ve won more titles than Len ever even participated in,” he said. “I feel like it’s my show, and together, with other pros, I dedicated six years of my life to this show … I’ve helped make it what it is, but I’ve never taken it away from anybody else who participated. I didn’t mean it in a selfish way. I love it. It’s what I love doing. Our fans are phenomenal.”
Goodman, for his part, spoke to Access Hollywood at the time.
“How often, in the heat of the moment, we say things where we think why did I say that? I think Maks is going through one of those periods right now,” he said. “What they have to understand is: They’re on trial. We’re the judges. You can’t be the judge at your own trial.”
Chmerkovskiy, who joined DWTS during season 2 in 2006, took a two-season break after season 15. When he returned for season 18 with partner Meryl Davis, he made headlines for calling Goodman the “important” one.
“I’ll never be [the judges’] favorite. And that’s OK. The viewers decide who gets to go and who doesn’t,” he told Today at the time. “I hope [the judges] know I’m joking. I hope the viewers know, too. Nothing that exits my mouth — unless I’m in rehearsal — is serious. This banter [with the judges] will never go away.”
Chmerkovskiy took another break from the show after winning with Davis, but returned in 2016 for three more seasons. He declared he was done with the series again in 2018, but not before making headlines for his drama with Lachey.
Scroll through to revisit the biggest feuds over the years: