Tony Dovolani has Maksim Chmerkovskiy's respect ... and sympathy.
Why? Because the former is paired with Kate Gosselin on the current season of Dancing with the Stars, who outspoken Maks is quite unimpressed by.
Despite her recent breakthrough, Maksim expects more. A lot more.
The dancer explains: "I've spoken to Kate, and I don't think she gets the point of this thing yet. The pain on her face says it all, which is unfortunate."
"The show is about finding a way to come out, enjoy yourself and have fun," Maksim says. "We have been taught to respect our teachers, so as teachers, we expect to be respected by our students. Kate needs to trust [Tony] more."
"However lifeless that [her dancing] is, he has her ready."
A Dancing with the Stars insider reveals that Kate Gosselin's first choice for pro partner on the hit program was actually Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who ended up partnered (and possibly dating) ESPN reporter Erin Andrews.
"She wishes she had been partnered with Maks because he's a stronger personality [than Tony Dovolani], and Kate likes a man who takes charge."
Must explain why she married Jon Gosselin then ... wait, what?
The insider adds: "Kate would have lasted about five minutes with Maks." Her lack of focus and attitude just don't jibe. But he says she can fix that.
"This is a chance for her to focus on something other than personal drama. How many women with multiple kids sit back and reminisce about the days they could go and dance? How many people vicariously live through us?"
"Live in the moment. You need to enjoy it."