Maks Chmerkovskiy Reacts To Derek Hough Leaving 'Dancing With The Stars' & Explains His Own Departure

Maksim Chmerkovskiy broke many hearts when he announced his retirement from ABC's Dancing With The Stars in 2014. But, he's not the only pro from the competitive dancing series to quit — Chmerkovskiy's oft-alleged rival Derek Hough left DWTS this year. But, straight from the man himself, Maks Chmerkovskiy says there's no DWTS rivalry with Derek Hough. In an interview with Bustle during a Beverly Hills Culinary Week event for Dysh App at Nespresso's flagship cafe in Los Angeles, Chmerkovskiy reveals that he definitely didn't leave the show because of any conflict, and he doubts Hough did either.

"People were confused and making up stories [about me], that 'oh, he's just jealous of Derek's success or he hasn't won a Mirrorball trophy,' but people can say whatever they want," Chmerkovskiy says. "Why Derek left the show, I have no idea — it's none of my business. But, I think things eventually have to come to an end."

Hough took a break from the hit series to begin training for Broadway's Singin' In The Rain adaptation, and, at this point, it's not clear if he plans to return for future seasons. And, although many fans have clamored for his return, Chmerkovskiy seems to be done as a DWTS pro for good. The champion Latin ballroom dancer says he has no regrets about leaving the show when he did, after 14 seasons vying for the Mirrorball trophy — he finally took one home in his final season with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis. "I left for my personal reasons," he says of his departure from the series.

A big part of it was my physical reasons. My knee hurt, my ankle hurt, my lower back started acting up. I'm the type of guy that if I'm not in the position to do 100 percent, I'm not going to do that job. I had not felt physically perfect, and it was in the back of my mind. You're in front of the camera with someone who puts all of their trust into you and I'm not going to do my job half-assed. That was the major reason why I left ... You have to reinvent yourself and move onto bigger and better things.
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Since then, Chmerkovskiy has been plenty busy. As Fuller House fans know, he and his brother Val had an epic guest appearance on the Netflix sitcom, which dropped in February. And, in June, the brothers will also embark on their national dancing tour Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way, which will visit Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, Nashville, Los Angeles, and more. So, like Derek, his time on DWTS may be done for now, but Chmerkovskiy's career is far from over.