Maksim Chmerkovskiy is The Bachelor!

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Maksim Chmerkovskiy turned down The Bachelor in the U.S., but has assumed the leading role in the version of the hit show in his native Ukraine.

The Dancing With the Stars hunk is the star of the inaugural edition of the romance reality series beginning March 17 on the Ukraine's STB network.

Why did he turn it down here - as did Chris Lambton, which ultimately gave us Brad Womack for a second time - but agree to it in Eastern Europe?

"There has never been a show such as this in Ukraine," he wrote on his blog. "That makes me think that a first season would be the most 'real.'"

"I thought about everything VERY long. I know it's hard to find somebody you can connect to on a TV project like this, but nothing is impossible."

"I can't reveal anything, but I am very pleasantly surprised so far."

So basically, he felt that the Ukrainian version would yield more sincere hopefuls, less contrived drama and fewer Michelle Money-like crazies.

Makes sense. How awesome is this promo, by the way? The music, the slo-mo, the grand gestures ... even the smooth-talking voiceover guy.

Whoever this Ukrainian Chris Harrison host-pimp counterpart is, we salute him. You rule, man, even if we have no earthly idea what you say.

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The Bachelor Quotes

There’s still a lot of growing to do in our relationship. We will not tie the knot until I am mentally and physically prepared as well as Matt.

Shayne Lamas

It was a fairytale proposal like I’ve always dreamed about. I forgot that there [were] cameras around. In that moment, it was just Matt and I and it was the most amazing moment of my entire life.

Shayne Lamas [on proposal by Matt Grant]
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