Maksim Chmerkovskiy Leaving “Dancing with the Stars”

Talent show fans might want to take a good look at the sharp-tongued and fleet-footed Maksim Chmerkovskiy when Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) returns to ABC for an “All-Star” season of performances.

The hot-tempered ballroom dancer says he will not return to DWTS after his current contract expires at the end of next year. Perhaps not surprisingly, Chmerkovskiy’s exit news comes just a month after Olympian Hope Solo — who was paired with Maks on the show in 2011 — accused the performer of slapping her during rehearsals.

Maks has denied those claims.

Maks tells The New York Post that DWTS pros get frustrated at living in the shadows of their celebrity partners. He’s ready to move on:

“What else do I have to do there after 15 seasons? It makes total sense. The audience can’t expect for me to want to stick around and the producers can’t expect for me to want to stick around…Essentially, 80% of our job is to give somebody another push in their career. Or we make them into likable characters. But at the end of the day, they go off and they better themselves. I loved doing it. But to be honest with you, at 32, I am at what-about-me time.”

Maks plans to pursue acting. After a run on the Ukrainian version of The Bachelor, he’s even open to appearing in a reality show with his brother, Val.

“I wish them the next 50 years of success. But I have to do something else. I need to move on for me.”

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