“We’re a family. We’re like this little group of Avengers, we’re our own little Marvel dance characters. It sucks when Spider-Man gets written off the show,” pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy told Us Weekly exclusively on Thursday, September 5. “Of course, I’m disappointed [and] surprised, for sure.”
Chigvintsev, 37, recently opened up about being cut from the show on “The Bellas Podcast,” revealing he was shocked by the call and only found out five days before the announcement was made. “It’s like going through a breakup after 10 years,” he said on August 28. “I dedicated 10 years of my life to that company and being let go a few days before the announcement, that’s, like, a punch in the stomach really. … I can’t let any one decide my fate from now on.”
While Chmerkovskiy, 33, agreed that “change is hard for everyone,” he doesn’t think viewers have seen the last of Burgess, 34, or Chigvintsev.
“I don’t think their relationship with Dancing With the Stars is over,” the two-time mirrorball trophy winner said. “It stinks for a second because it’s natural. It’s like a really fun sleep-away camp and all of a sudden, you’ve got to go home or do something else and be kind of separated. It’s a combination of all those things but life goes on. They’re super talented. Dancing With the Stars doesn’t define their careers, it’s just one of the highlights in their careers. … I think were going to continue to collaborate in the future!”
The 14-time U.S. National Latin Dance champion also defended the ABC series.
“I think we put way too much responsibility on the show. In all walks of life, we are so into our work, we’re so passionate. A lot of time our passions and work are in line. We put so much emphasis on it,” he said. “But at the same time, this show has had a lot of talent and has had a lot of turnover and I think we need to all check ourselves and be grateful for the show and how long it’s provided such an incredibly opportunity for all of us.”
The pro then said: “I don’t know what’s in store for me with the show, but as long as they would love to have me, I’ll be grateful. When they choose not to have me, I’ll be grateful for the opportunity that I did have on the show and I’ll be excited for the next batch of talent that should get the chance.”
Dancing With the Stars premieres on ABC Monday, September 16, at 8 p.m. ET.