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maksim chmerkovskiy aol 291112

Now that the new line-up for Dancing with the Stars has been announced, all things DWTS gossip can commence!  Perhaps the biggest bombshell so far, besides Lisa Vanderpump being the first housewife to dance into our living rooms, has to do with one of the seasoned professionals.  Where is Maksim Chmerkovskiy?

Also, now that Julianne Hough is a bona fide movie star, will her brother Derek continue to dance on the show (well, duh…he needs to find girlfriends!) or will he be looking beyond ABC for other career opportunities?  Burning questions, people, burning questions!  

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Maks tells Life and Style about his departure, explaining that he wants to focus on other career venues.  He shares, "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 StarsI’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."

The sometimes controversial dancer continues, "A big thank you to all of my fans for your never-ending support.  I also want to thank the entire cast and production of Dancing with the Stars."

For its part, the network released its own statement regarding Maks' absence from the upcoming DWTS roster.  ABC states, “We frequently rotate the professional dancers, so it is not unusual for them to rest a cycle.  As we consider who will be matched up each season, there are a lot of factors that dictate which couples make the best pairings. We appreciate each of our dancers dedication to the show, so this is a very difficult decision. Anna, Chelsie, Maks and Louis continue to be a part of the Dancing With the Stars family.”

Also exploring new entertainment options are the Hough siblings.  While Derek is still dancing up a storm on the ABC reality competition, Julianne left for a singing career (what happened with that?) and the big screen a while ago.  According to Gossip Cop, now the brother-sister duo are working behind the scenes to develop a new scripted drama for Starz.

The show, entitled Blackpool, is a fictionalized look at the racier side of England's prestigious annual ballroom competition.  The show promises all of the drama, sex, politics, glamour and backstabbing that goes on behind the scenes of the professional dancers…all the prerequisites of a juicy hit.  Derek and Julianne will serve as both choreographers and executive producers for the series.

TELL US-WILL YOU MISS MAKS ON DWTS?  WILL YOU BE TUNING IN TO WATCH BLACKPOOL?

[Photo Credit: Alberto Reyes/WENN.com]

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