Today's News: Our Take - Maksim Chmerkovskiy "Sets the Record Straight" About Dancing with the Stars Exit
"I just want to set the record straight to all of my amazing fans that I will unfortunately not be returning for this season of Dancing with the Stars," Chmerkovskiy said in a statement Tuesday after the Season 16 cast was announced. "I've been a pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities that have been made possible because of Dancing with the Stars. I'm going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations."
Chmerkovskiy first appeared on the ABC hit during the second season. He went on to make it to the final round four times, landing two runner-up and two third-place finishes. During Chmerkovskiy's last appearance on Dancing, he was partnered with Kirstie Alley for a second time, and the pair finishing in seventh.
But that may not have been his last time on the Dancing floor. Chmerkovskiy, who took Season 6 off, revealed in his TVGuide.com blogs last season that he was thinking about taking a break this season. He also said that his contract ends in 2015 and he would honor it until then, at which point he would leave Dancing for good.
"A big thank you to all of my fans for your never-ending support," Chmerkovskiy's statement continued. "I also want to thank the entire cast and production of Dancing with the Stars."
Season 16 of Dancing premieres Monday, March 18 at 8/7c on ABC.
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