Maksim Chmerkovskiy Says Relationship with DWTS Partner Vanessa Lachey Was 'Never Bad'
No bad blood!
“It’s a tough show,” he said, adding that everybody on the competition series is under a lot of stress. “And when you’re good enough to make it all the way, you go through that much more stuff. We’re a great couple. We’re doing our best. She’s giving me all the time that she should, and I can’t wait for this Monday to show what we’ve been working on.”
Rumors of drama between the DWTS pair swirled after Chmerkovskiy skipped a performance early in the competition. At the time, DWTS co-host Erin Andrews told viewers his absence was due to a “personal issue” but sources told PEOPLE the couple had been “bickering” since the beginning of the competition and that he chose to sit out due to a clash between their “big personalities.”
However, Chmerkovskiy later publicly apologized to Lachey on Twitter saying, “As you are all aware, I had to leave the show last week to take care of some personal issues. I take full responsibility for my absence. And want to apologize to my partner Vanessa. We are both looking forward to dancing for our fans next week!”
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While this isn’t the first time Chmerkovskiy has been rumored to clash with his DWTS counterpart — in 2015 he told The Real that his season 13 partner, soccer star Hope Solo, is “literally the only person that I could dislike from my past, present or future” — an insider insisted that he and Lachey are a unified pair.
“Maks and Vanessa are a team and completely support each other 100 percent,” the insider told PEOPLE. “They are so friendly backstage and are great to work with. You can tell they are genuinely enjoying themselves and are here to have a good time.”
Sure enough, Lachey relied on Chmerkovskiy for comfort during last Monday’s emotional elimination.
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When it was announced that her husband, Nick Lachey, was not in jeopardy of elimination for the first time in three weeks, Vanessa threw herself into Chmerkovskiy’s arms. He enveloped her and held her until the entire cast moved to say goodbye to Gleb Savchenko and Sasha Pieterse.
Chmerkovskiy and Lachey will return Monday (8 p.m. ET) to the ballroom for Movie Night on the ABC reality dance competition.