Dancing With the Stars' Karina Smirnoff Explains Kissing Ex-Fiance Maksim Chmerkovskiy During Live Show: "I Didn't Know What Else to Do"

Entertainment Nov. 19, 2013 AT 12:20PM
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff on July 30, 2013 in New York Dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff were engaged from 2008 to 2009. Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty

The Dancing With the Stars semi-finals was filled with fast footwork and tears as the finalists were crowned and former King of Queens star Leah Remini was sent home. But loyal fans of the ABC competition show got a special treat when former flames Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were reunited. 

Smirnoff, 35, is a current pro on the show, who along with partner Corbin Bleu is heading to this season's finals. Chmerkovskiy, 33, used to be a pro on the show, and, despite a somewhat heated exit from the show in 2012, returned on Nov. 18 to be a guest judge. The seasoned dancers were engaged from December 2008 to September 2009 before amicably splitting. 

PHOTOS: Jaw-dropping DWTS makeovers

So Smirnoff was clearly anxious to dance in front of her ex on Monday night. But the Ukrainian performer had nothing to worry about. Chmerkovskiy gave her high marks on both performances, and following her second dance -- the rumba -- he had some especially kind words 

"I think you have a huge advantage in this competition," he said to Bleu. "You have what I consider to be Top 5 best female dancers of all time."

PHOTOS: Before they were on DWTS 

Touched by her ex's words, Smirnoff left Bleu's side and ran up to the judge's table to give Chmerkovskiy a kiss on the cheek. After the show, she explained her actions to Us Weekly.

"He had such a sweet comment, and I didn’t know what else to do," she said. "I was like, that’s so sweet. Should I give him a kiss?"

Karina Smirnoff dances with her partner, Corbin Bleu, on Dancing With the Stars season 17.
Karina Smirnoff dances with her partner, Corbin Bleu, on Dancing With the Stars season 17.
Credit: ABC/Adam Taylor

And Smirnoff had a critique of her own for her former flame. 

PHOTOS: DWTS' hottest hookups

"I think he did a great job," she said. "He had a lot of constructive criticism because he has been on both sides now, as a judge and as a dancer, and he knows how much work we put in every week getting the dances ready. I think he did a great job, and I was pleasantly surprised with that comment, but Maks is always full of surprises!"

Smirnoff dated her DWTS season 6 partner Mario Lopez from 2006 to 2008, and after Chmerkovskiy, she was engaged to MLB pitcher Brad Penny until 2011 when the couple ended the engagement. 

Chmerkovskiy is currently dating Sport's Illustrated model Kate Upton, and recently talked to Us about the blond bombshell. 

PHOTOS: Kate Upton's hot body

"She's an amazing person," he told Us. "We have an incredible time together, and, you know, I definitely didn't see that coming and I think neither did she."

Chmerkovskiy isn't the first former pro to return to guest judge this season. Dancer-turned-actress Julianne Hough caused quite a stir on the show when she gave a controversial critique of since-eliminated pro Mark Ballas in early October. 

How we use your email
X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Us Weekly and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

comments powered by Disqus

ADVERTISEMENT