EXCLUSIVE: Heather Morris & Maksim Chmerkovskiy Open Up About Their Shocking ‘DWTS’ Elimination: ‘I’m Pissed’
In one of the most shocking eliminations in the 24-season history of Dancing With the Stars, Heather Morris and pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were voted off the show on Monday, on the same night they earned the first perfect score of the season.
The couple stopped to talk with ET’s Cameron Mathison after the show and were gracious, but clearly still surprised about the outcome.
“Well, I mean we’ve had a few [surprising upsets] in 24 seasons of the show [but] I just never thought that that one of my [partners] was going to be a part of that shock,” Chmerkovskiy explained. “Brandy [Norwood] and I didn’t make the final [in season 11] when I thought she was one of the best dancers that season, but [that] wasn’t as shocking as this. This is crazy.”
Chmerkovskiy seemed truly baffled by the elimination, saying that it was “so wrong, in terms of [dancing talent],” that it was “almost OK.”
The former Mirror Ball Trophy winner made his long-awaited return to the DWTS stage on Monday after being sidelined for four weeks due to a calf injury, and the pair dominated the dance floor with a sultry rumba set to TLC’s “Waterfalls.”
The captivating, film noir-themed routine earned nothing but glowing praise and rave reviews from the panel of judges, and earned the couple a perfect 40 out of 40 — marking Morris’ first 10 of the season, as well as the first 10 given out by judge Len Goodman. However, none of that was enough to keep Morris and Chmerkovskiy in the game.
The former Glee star stayed positive in the face of disappointment though, telling ET that she prepared herself for the possibility of getting eliminated before she actually got the axe.
“I feel like, [as] with any show that you watch on TV, it’s like, you don’t really know what’s coming next,” Morris shared. “I was kinda preparing for anything that could happen or could come my way. So it was like, ‘OK, if this is going to happen, let’s just be positive and go out the right way.”
“Everybody is so fantastic here and just so welcoming, [so] it was like,nice to [know] that I’m going to say goodbye, but I’m also going to see these people again,” she added.
Chmerkovskiy, however, didn’t take the elimination with the same level of tranquility.
“I’m pissed,” he admitted. “[But] it’s not the last time [Morris and I] will be doing stuff together and, you know, I’m looking forward to when that happens.”
According to Morris, the elimination was truly sad because “we want to see [Chmerkovskiy] dance again.”
After performing with Morris in week one, the 37-year-old Ukrainian dancer injured his calf during rehearsals. DWTS troupe member Alan Bersten filled in for Chmerkovskiy for four weeks, as fans eagerly awaited his return, although he only managed to perform one (albeit perfect) dance before saying goodbye to the season for good.
For more on the longtime DWTS pro’s road to recovery, check out the video below.