With the premiere of Dancing With the Stars Season 26 on Monday night, there will be two pros missing from the usual lineup of dancers. Brothers Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy will not be on Dancing With the Stars this season. The siblings have not explicitly said why they will not be competing, but it is clear that they are very busy these days.
The dancers are traveling for their own tour called Confidential, and it's a family affair. Maksim, Valentin, and Maks' wife, Peta Murgatroyd, have all joined forces for the dance tour. According to the show's official website, the trio have their last tour date on May 16.
In the "About the Tour" section of the show's website, Maksim explained, "The Confidential tour is a dance show driven by our family and our love stories. This time I’m a husband, a father. in the best shape of my professional career and still learning on and off the dance floor every day."
Val added, "This time we have set the bar higher, and given ourselves more time to rehearse and produce the show that we can honestly say is our very best."
Just like the Chmerkovskiy bothers, Peta also missed this season of Dancing With the Stars thanks to the tour. It makes perfect sense for the family to leave Dancing With the Stars — or at the very least put it on hold — to put most of the focus on preparing and touring Confidential.
It is unclear if the brothers are done with Dancing With the Stars forever. It seems like Maksim is over competing, but would be down to return in a different capacity. In an April 4 interview with Mass Live, he was asked if he would return to DWTS. Maks explained, "Listen, I love the show, but I have other interests at the moment. I would have loved to judge and transition into that, but it's not my call. It's not up to me. Everything that is up to me, I do at 100 percent and then give it my all. I just don't think I can do the show as a professional dancer at 100 percent and give it my all anymore. I am at a different point in my life."
He added, "I would love to do that gig [as a DWTS judge] That's my thing. That's my medium [and] that's what I know. I know exactly what I am looking at. I know exactly what I want it to be and exactly how to influence someone to do better in that genre."
Unlike his brother, Val has not made any public declarations about his DWTS future, but no news could be good news in this case. If he hasn't said that he is done, then maybe this means he is just taking a break from the show for Season 26. He is busy on the family tour, but Val is also promoting his book, I'll Never Change My Name: An Immigrant's American Dream from Ukraine to the USA to Dancing with the Stars, which was released on March 6. Plus, he did mention the show in the title, which could be interpreted as a positive sign for fans who want the dancer to return to the popular reality TV show.
Another reason that it would make sense for Val to return to the show for is that he is in a serious relationship with professional dancer Jenna Johnson, who is a cast member on the show. It wouldn't be a surprise if Val wanted to be on Dancing With the Stars with his girlfriend.
The door might be open for Val to return, but that could also be the case for Maksim based on his history. Yes, Maksim insists that he is done competing on the show, but he has left Dancing With the Stars a couple of times in the past.
After Season 5 Maks said he was quitting the show, but backtracked on the declaration during a 2007 interview with People and confessed that he said that "at a time when I was very stressed out." He also admitted, "After coming down from two seasons back to back, ten weeks each season — it takes its toll.” Even though Maks insisted he wasn't quitting at the time, he did not appear on Season 6, but did return for Season 7 of Dancing With the Stars in 2008.
Then, in 2013, Maksim announced that he would not return for Season 16 in a statement that he released to People. In the statement, he explained, "I’ve been a pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities that have been made possible because of Dancing with the Stars. I’m going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations.”
He skipped the show for Seasons 16 and 17 and returned in Season 18, after which, once again, he said he wouldn't be returning. This time, he stayed off the show until Season 23. In 2016, Maksim told Bravo's The Daily Dish, "I'm telling you right now I have zero interest in coming back as a dancer," for Season 24 even though he actually did participate in the show that season and in Season 25.
At this point, both Maksim and Valentin are focused on the Confidential tour and are not available to appear on Dancing With the Stars as a result, but will they be gone forever? Only time will tell, but anything is possible.