The show will go on — but without Karina Smirnoff. After 16 seasons as a pro on Dancing With the Stars, Smirnoff announced via Instagram on Tuesday, Feb. 10, that she would not be returning for the upcoming 20th season of the ABC competition.
“Many of you have been asking if I will be back for season 20 of DWTS and I wanted all of my incredible family to hear it directly from me,” she wrote in the caption of a super glam headshot of herself. “After a lot of thought and prayer, I’ve decided to focus my energies on some other exciting endeavors including adding author to my resume.”
(Smirnoff just released her first book, We’re Just Not That Into You: Dating Disasters From the Trenches.)
“I have absolutely loved dancing for all of you for all these years and feel blessed to have been given a platform to put my passion for dance, choreography, and creativity on display,” she continued. “DWTS has been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years and I will always have a special place in my heart for it.”
She added that her new book is available now, writing, “I look forward to hearing from you as you read it! I love all of you so very much and couldn’t feel more grateful for your support in all that I do!”
Smirnoff first joined DWTS for season three in 2006, competing with Mario Lopez and placing second in the competition behind Cheryl Burke and Emmitt Smith. She has competed in every season since except season 10, with one Mirrorball championship in season 13, when she danced with soap star J.R. Martinez.
Her most recent stint on the show was with Randy Couture in season 19. They were sent home in week three.
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