He reportedly didn’t compete with her during Week 3 of “Dancing With the Stars” because they had repeatedly clashed behind-the-scenes of the competition show. However, Maks Chmerkovskiy seems to finally be speaking out with his true feelings about Season 25 partner Vanessa Lachey.
Following the pair’s reunion on Week 4’s “Most Memorable Year” night on the ABC show, Maks took to Instagram to praise his partner, with whom he scored 24 points for a Rumba devoted to Vanessa’s struggle in 2016 after she gave birth to her third child prematurely.
In the post, which featured several images of the pair performing their routine, Maks wrote that he was “proud” of her for the routine, and hinted at their previously tumultuous relationship, saying he wouldn’t want to be doing the show and dealing with the challenges with anyone except for her.
The post comes after reports last week which indicated that Maks’ absence during “Guilty Pleasures” night was due to conflicts he and Vanessa and faced due to their similar personalities.
“There is a lot of fighting going on behind the scenes,” sources said after the Week 3 broadcast. “Their personalities are very similar so they disagree about everything. They refuse to give into one another. They’re playing nice for the cameras but both are miserable paired with each other.”
Soon after those reports first broke, it was also revealed that Maks would be returning to dance with Vanessa again during Week 4, and other members of the show’s cast backed that up by saying they had seen the pair rehearsing together once again.
The return seemed to also work wonders for the formerly feuding pair, as the emotional routine affected them both when they took to the stage to perform it. After the show, the two caught up with E! News, where Maks relayed that this particular week and routine were not the ones to let anything get in the way of, hinting that he and Vanessa had been on the same page for it.
“This is not the week to have anything be in the way of what the point is, and the point is to kind of have this platform, to be given this platform to represent something that a lot of people go through, and you get to speak for millions of families,” he said. “…Vanessa’s story is such an, I hate to say it, an everyday occurrence…it’s so important out there to know that there are people that go through this.”
Vanessa also discussed how they were on the same page for this particular dance because Maks could relate to her fears. Though his wife and fellow pro Peta Murgatroyd carried to full term, their son, Shai, was born just after Vanessa and her husband, Nick, who is also competing on Season 24, welcomed Phoenix, their third child together, after Vanessa had only carried him for 29 weeks.
“It was exciting to come back into my most memorable year, and have him literally with the same vision that I had because he has a newborn,” Vanessa said. “I mean, Shai and Phoenix are literally two weeks apart. And you need that emotion to go through this because it’s not an easy process.”
The couple, who were called safe during the show, are set to return to the Ballroom in Week 5. Their routine and song choice have yet to be revealed.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.