Season 14 Dancing with the Stars tribute to Dick Clark. (Photo : ABC)
Fans of Dancing with the Stars will be able to root for their favorite dancing couples once again when the series ignites once more for its two-night season premiere starting on Monday.
The show, which is now entering its fifteenth season, will be the last for professional dancer, Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The New York Post recently broke the story, which details that Maksim's contract expires after his partnership with Kirstie Alley in season fifteen ends, and that he is opting to not return in favor of a new-found interest in acting.
Like Us on Facebook
"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 me to want to stick around," he said in an interview.
Chmerkovskiy gives a run-down of his job on Dancing with the Stars, saying "80 percent 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."
The dancer's surprisingly candid and insightful perspective on the show peels away at the fiction of "reality" television.
The dancer will star in a romantic comedy, which begins principal photography in January.
"I never thought I was ready [for movie acting]. Then I had a whole day of reading with the director and casting director, and I enjoyed it so much," Chmerkovskiy said. " I caught the bug, as they say. This is something I really want to do."
As for the remaining star-dancer couples, here are the details.
Apollo Anton Ohno will be paired with Karina Smirnoff, Bristol Palin with Mark Ballas, Drew Lachey with Anna Trebunskaya, Emmitt Smith with Cheryl Burke, Giles Marini with Peta Murgatroyd, Helio Castroneves with Chelsie Hightower, Joey Fatone with Kym Johnson, Kelly Monaco with Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Melissa Rycroft with Tony Dovolani, Pamela Anderson with Tristan MacManus, Sabrina Bryan with Louis Van Amstel, and Shawn Johnson with Derek Hough.
Dancing with the Stars season fifteen premieres at on Monday, September 24 at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT, with the results show following the next night at the same time.