Len Goodman and pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy engaged in some verbal jousting on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars, ratcheting up the tension between the show’s head judge and the ballroom’s bad boy. Maks lashed out after receiving 20 out of 30 points for his routine with partner Hope Solo. When Goodman called it her “worst dance of the season,” Maks suggested Goodman has been in the business too long. “Maybe it’s time to go,” he said.
When the two come face-to-face again on Tuesday’s results show, there’s bound to be tension – but which one is the true Dancing heavyweight? Here, a comparison between the ballroom’s brawlers:
Total years in the biz
Maks: About 27 (age 31)
Len: About 50 (age 67)
Seasons on the show
Maks: 11 (Maks sat out season 1 and season 6)
In their corners
Maks: While he’s a character fans love to hate, he also manages to charm people with his fiery, loveable-rogue side (not to mention his apparent allergy to shirt buttons). “Maks is really funny. He’s actually pretty easy if you tell him you love him all the time,” his partner last season, Kirstie Alley, has said, adding, “We always have chemistry.”
Len: The respected judge, who often gets boos in the ballroom, speaks his mind and doesn’t pull punches – but it’s clear he’s only trying to help Dancing‘s stars, as Derek Hough pointed out Tuesday.
“I feel like the judges have been incredibly generous,” Hough said after Maks’s outburst. “But we’re all very emotional.”
Wins & Honors
Len: Specializing in the “exhibition” form of ballroom, he’s been a professional dancer and teacher. He runs a dance school in his hometown of Kent, England. He’s won the British Exhibition four times and was the runner up in the Exhibition World Championships.
He’s won the British Rising Star Award, the Carl Allen Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s had success judging the Latin American and Ballroom professional dance competition and the World and British Championships.
Maks: The Latin dancer has choreographed for director Franco Dragone’s Las Vegas show, Le Rêve, and performed in the Broadway show Burn the Floor.
He is also the 2005 Yankee Classic Professional Latin Champion, the 2004 Manhattan Dancesport Professional Latin Champion and the 2003 Ohio Star Ball Latin Champion, according to his bio. Though he’s never won a mirror-ball trophy on DWTS, he came closest in seasons 5 and 12, placing second with partners Mel B and Kirstie Alley.
Maks: “I know my assets so I don’t have a problem opening my shirt. I notice women looking at my chest all the time. If you want to look at my chest, go ahead.”
Len: “You come out and show me a proper dance. I’m fed up, Maks, with shirts coming off.”