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The Bad Boy of the Ballroom, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, may not be done with Dancing With the Stars after all, according to ABC's President of Entertainment.

Paul Lee said that after a one-season hiatus, the 33-year-old Ukrainian sensation may be returning for the upcoming 17th season of the hit competition.

"Maks is part of the family," Lee said at the Television Critics Association's press tour. "He may well be back. We love having him be part of the show."

This latest news may come to a surprise to fans. In February 2013, Chmerkovskiy explained why his name was left out of the Season 16 cast lineup.

"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 Stars," he said.

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Kate Upton and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were spotted out and about again this week, this time at the HBO premiere of documentary Casting By in NYC.

"The two did not want to be photographed together," a source tells E! News.

The duo, who tried to avoid cameras, "left the event around midnight and went to Catch sushi bar, that turns into a club. The two partied until the early hours."

Despite their best efforts, the pair was nevertheless snapped in the back seat of a car, rekindling rumors that Upton is dating Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

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A celebrity news site reports that Kate Upton and Maksim Chmerkovskiy of Dancing With the Stars fame are dating, but that's probably a bit of a stretch.

One source told E! that the two "are just good friends," while a second source (close to Maks) revealed that they've "heard nothing about them dating."

They sure would be a hot couple, but that's likely the extent of it.

  • Maksim C.
  • Kate Upton Modeling Sam Edelman

The duo were said to be spotted getting cozy during a dinner at Scalinatella in New York City, though the Upper East Side eatery debunked the report.

Kate Upton's dinner, they said, did "not look intimate at all."

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Maksim Chmerkovskiy is leaving Dancing With the Stars, according to reports.

Sources close to the show say the Ukrainian hunk spoke with producers a few days ago and told them he won't be returning for the Spring 2013 season.

Mad Maks

The 33-year-old dancer has been on the show since Season 2 (2006).

He has partnered with the likes of Brandy, Misty May, Laila Ali, Erin Andrews, Kirstie Alley, Mel B and Hope Solo, who infamously claimed he slapped her.

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Think Pamela Anderson is second-guessing last night's Dancing With the Stars results?

Soccer star Hope Solo, never one to mince words, claims DWTS is rigged, citing occurrences during her stint on the show that "prove" producers, not voters, call the shots.

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy Pic

The 31-year-old, who partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy en route to a fourth-place finish, says they received a "secret memo" that revealed they would be ousted several weeks earlier.

Hope writes in her recently-released memoir:

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Hope Solo claims in her new memoir, Solo: A Memoir of Hope, that Maksim Chmerkovskiy slapped her across the face on Dancing With the Stars in 2011.

Maksim is reportedly adamant that this did NOT occur and shocked that the slap story somehow made it into the U.S. women's soccer team goaltender's book.

In it, she says Chmerkovskiy slapped her hard during a tense rehearsal while trying to put her head in the correct position for a dancing move. You buy it?

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy Pic

The two were partners who famously clashed on the show, but this was mostly attributed at the time to them each being intense competitors and athletes.

They've had dinner several times since the show, and she tweeted to Maks before the Olympics, offering him free tickets (Hope led the U.S. to gold, as usual).

Maks says he has no idea why Hope would publish such a false, defamatory statement and posted a statement on Twitter Thursday without naming names:

“Always hated hypocrites and liars… but when someone is both AND an opportunist, I just feel bad for them. Can’t win at someone’s expense,” he wrote.

Is it possible that she exaggerated an incident for her book just to make splashy headlines? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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Dancing With the Stars' Maksim Chmerkovskiy was photographed kissing fellow pro dancer co-star Peta Murgatroyd this weekend, sparking rumors of romance.

On Saturday at the Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas, Maksim was there celebrating with Peta, who won Dancing With the Stars with Donald Driver last week.

That wasn't the only time the hard-bodied pair and rumored couple were spotted together in Sin City. Witnesses have seen them together all over Vegas.

And, at the opening of Chmerkovskiy's new dance studio in Connecticut on May 23, the pair stood arm-in-arm while he whispered in her ear. Hmm ...

  • Peta Murgatroyd Picture
  • Maksim Photo

"She's had a crush on him for a long time," a source tells People of Peta. "They are really great together. And he is very happy. It's early but I think this will last. They're a great match, a good couple. She says they're not dating but they are. Everyone knows it."

Still, at the debut of the Dance With Me studio (which Maks opened with his brother Val and fellow pro Tony Dovolani), both danced around questions.

"I'm here to support Maksim," was all Murgatroyd would say about Chmerkovskiy, who wouldn't directly address the nature of their relationship either.

"I try to keep certain things private just because – what's a politically correct way of saying it? It's none of anybody's business," he said. "It's very intimate and personal."

Yeah. They're totally doing the horizontal Argentine tango.

[Photo: Fame/Flynet]

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Maksim Chmerkovskiy is still in search of his first Mirror Ball trophy.

With Melissa Gilbert as his latest partner, the quest may be difficult.

In fairness to the Little House On The Prairie star, she showed potential, and is coming off a rough stretch, divorcing her husband and breaking her back.

The nerves she showed last night, when she finished with a score of 20 (well behind leaders Katherine Jenkins and Jaleel White) will likely fade in time.

Hopefully Maks, great teacher that he is, can guide her through next week until she has a chance to shine. Here's their performance from last night ...

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Sherri Shepherd took to The View today to address rumors that she's been rehearsing for the show since January and thus has an unfair advantage.

The Season 14 hopeful denied ever working with Val Chmerkovskiy (her pro partner on the program) and/or Maksim Chmerkovskiy at their dance studio.

“We have never, I say never, we’ve never danced together,” Sherri said of the rumor. “I’ve never danced with Maks, I’ve never danced with Val."

However, she did attend a dance class at their venue.

Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy

She did clarify that she loves dancing and had taken classes, however, “This started long before I started negotiations with Dancing With the Stars.”

Sherri said she took lessons before her wedding to Lamar Sally in August.

Radar Online had said Sherri was spotted this past December at the Soho Studio owned by the Chmerkovskiy brothers and Maks was there at the time.

Also, PureDWTS reported in December that they saw a photo of Sherri and Val go up at Dance With Me's website but it was promptly taken down.

Since Sherri is still tweeting about Monday’s DWTS season premiere it doesn’t sound like the allegation that she “cheated” is being taken seriously.

She and Val should be taken seriously as contenders though, apparently! She's been practicing, and the Dancing With the Stars cast is on notice.

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Jack Wagner, Sherri Shepherd, Maria Menounos, Gavin DeGraw and Melissa Gilbert will all be among those competing on Dancing With the Stars March 19.

A pair of sports stars - Green Bay Packers wideout Donald Driver and tennis legend Martina Navratilova - will also be lacing up their dancing shoes.

Perhaps more importantly, Maksim Chmerkovskiy says he'll be back!

  • Jack Wagner Pic
  • Maria Menounos at the 2012 Oscars
  • Gavin Pic
  • Sherri Shepherd at the Oscars

DeGraw is up for some serious double duty, as he will also continue his current U.S. tour for the first few weeks of the season, if he can last that long.

Gavin's pro partner, Karina Smirnoff, will most likely join him on tour so they can keep up the practicing, but none of his concerts conflict with DWTS dates.

Wagner, Heather Locklear's ex, will compete amid a minor scandal, while Menounos and Shepherd represent the entertainment show contingent.

The full Dancing With the Stars cast for Season 14 this spring:

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Maksim Chmerkovskiy Biography

Maks, Misty A very handsome Dancing with the Stars instructor. Ladies love to look at Maksim Chmerkovskiy. He took season six of the show off... but... More »
Full Name
Maksim Chmerkovskiy
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