Dancing with the Stars may be losing a longtime pro next season: Maksim Chmerkovskiy has reportedly told producers that he will not return for Season 16, according to TMZ.com.
The Ukrainian ballroom dancer joined the show in Season 2, though he has yet to win the coveted Mirrorball trophy. He's finished second twice: in Season 5 when he was partnered with Mel B and in Season 12 with Kirstie Alley.
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ABC declined to comment, and an email to Chmerkovskiy's rep was not immediately returned. However, Chmerkovskiy revealed in his TVGuide.com blogs last season that he was thinking about taking a break this season (he previously took Season 6 off). He also shared that his contract ends in 2015 and would honor it until then, at which point he would leave Dancing for good.
"[After] my contract ends in 2015, I won't re-sign," he wrote. "I just feel at that point, it's time to move on and explore new opportunities. It'll make sense for me and the show. We have amazing talent, as you've seen in the troupe, and it's a natural progression. The show will be in good hands."
The new Dancing cast will be revealed on Good Morning America on Tuesday morning. Season 16 of Dancing premieres Monday, March 18 at 8/7c on ABC.
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View original Is Maksim Chmerkovskiy Leaving Dancing with the Stars? at TVGuide.com
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