Maksim Chmerkovskiy's Fellow Pros React to his 'Dancing With the Stars' Tirade
"He had the courage to stand up for him and his partner," says Lacey Schwimmer. "A lot of us wish we would say something, but we don't because we're afraid."
The small furor over Maksim Chmerkovskiy's heated exchange with judge Len Goodman on Monday's Dancing With the Stars continued backstage for well over an hour after the show ended.
Speaking with the press, Maks' fellow professional dancers sounded off on his rant -- most notably when he called it "his show" -- with praise, diplomatic scolding and a lot of "no comments."
Maks himself said that he never intended anything in a selfish way, merely wishing to defend partner Hope Solo.
Fellow veteran Derek Hough agreed that things probably got misconstrued.
"We've all had a laugh about that," Hough said, after coyly dodging the topic for a bit. "I know he didn't mean it like that. He's a part of the show."
Though Hough doesn't agree with his approach. "As a seasoned professional, you should know not to do that, I think," he said. "It's a losing battle. You can't argue."
Lacey Schwimmer, who's faced much of the season's criticism with low-scoring partner Chaz Bono, seemed much more supportive of Maks.
"He had the courage to stand up for him and his partner," she said. "A lot of us wish we would say something, but we don't because we're afraid."
She points to the characterization of Chaz as an example of questionable judging this season. Comments on Bono's weight have recently included comparisons to a penguin and an Ewok.
"The distasteful words... It's unnecessary. It's rude," Lacey said. "I'm not going too speak poorly of their professions or what they've done in their careers, but they have no business saying the things that they do. This is a dance competition, not a favorites competition."
A perceived "favorite" this season, J.R. Martinez, is partnered with Karina Smirnoff -- who many were hoping to get a soundbite from. Not only has she been on the series for 10 seasons, she's Maks' former fiance.
But Karina just rolled her eyes. "Shocker," she said.
Speaking a little more on the matter, she echoed Derek Hough's sentiments that any talking back is probably in vain.
"People have opinions," she said, "and for some reason we all feel the need to state our own opinions."