The recent Dancing With the Stars feud between Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Derek Hough appears to indicate an increasingly heated rivalry and then some.
"They hate each other," a DWTS insider says.
"I had a laugh about that," Hough said, then referred to a list of past champions at the studio: "I was just looking at the plaque upstairs and ... well, never mind."
Derek (with Ricki Lake) and Maks (with Hope Solo) are in this fall's final five.
That reply by three-time winner Hough (Chmerkovskiy has yet to hoist the Mirror Ball in 12 seasons; Both are alive right now) is just the latest chapter.
"The professional dance community is really small. The dancers have known one another their entire lives," says a source close to the smash hit show.
"Now that the group is famous, it's added a new level of competitiveness."
There's also the Julianne Hough factor.Derek's sister, a fellow dancer who starred on Dancing With the Stars for many seasons, briefly dated Chmerkovskiy. It didn't last long, however.
"Julianne told Maks she didn't want to have a serious relationship," says a source.
Soon after, the Footloose star started seeing Ryan Seacrest, and Maks was accused of "planting false rumors Julianne was cheating on Ryan with Maks."
Another DWTS insider counters that Chmerkovskiy is no rumor monger and, in fact, Derek Hough isn't the nice guy he seems to be on camera.
"Derek is dating Lauren Conrad for publicity," says the source of his romance with The Hills star. "He is focused on becoming a huge star like Julianne."
Not sure we believe that either, since LC and DH are very, very low profile and he's arguably a much bigger star than she is at this point.
Still, gotta love quality Dancing With the Stars gossip!