And guess what – Meryl straight up says they’re not dating. :::cue hearts breaking all over shipperland::: Maks even goes so far as to say “they needed that” in reference, I think, to the faux kissing and romance. And I’m not criticizing – that is an element of SOME of the dances. I think it is a shame that it’s now all anyone focuses on. The woman can DANCE, yet all we hear about is the showmance – and that’s largely due to their choices, in addition to the shippers. But the faux kiss as a choreographic crutch got a bit out of hand – the shippers don’t get ALL the blame.
ETA: Vogue here. You can read a new interview with Meryl at TV Guide as well. I love the question they asked her about working with Maks and Derek…
How do you think working with Maks might change how you approach routines with Charlie?
Davis: Just from a basics standpoint, learning the different styles of dance I did can only help. I’ve taken ballet, but I’ve never danced on the floor for the sake of dancing on the floor. I’ll take a lot back on the ice with me.
You talked a lot about coming out of your shell. Will that also change your partnership with Charlie?
Davis: I was very shy when I was younger, but I haven’t been shy for many years now. But this additional experience will definitely help.
What was the major difference you found between working with Maks vs. Derek ?
Davis: They are two very different people with different personalities, but both are insanely brilliant. It’s funny, I worked with the two of them at the same time for the team dance and I had been telling Maks that seeing the two of them interact and suggest choreography to one another was such a cool experience to see.
More at TV Guide.
ETA2: TV Guide now has a new interview up with Maks. Here is a take where he talks on their relationship and more.
You guys have gotten a lot of mileage out of the romance speculation. How much of that was played up for show? Set the record straight.
Chmerkovskiy: Our relationship is very real. She’s incredible. It’s going to go beyond Dancing with the Stars for sure. … As far as what everybody is asking romantically, these things will never be answered by me. You’re going to see things in tabloids and pictures, and you have people gossiping and making up their own stories, but I will never speak about my personal life.
The show really milked it too.
Chmerkovskiy: I think the show never had a couple like Meryl and me. … We had these stories on the floor that gave a completely new depth to our show. Between what we did and what Derek was able to do with Amy, this season has been absolutely remarkable. We had unbelievable dancers. … Nobody, I think, came close to Meryl and me, just by sheer passion. That passion, that togetherness and that look in each other’s eyes — yes, some of it was necessary for the dances to be what they needed to be from a performance standpoint. Most of it was coming from a very real spot. We connected right away and it was extremely creative.
Almost every season without fail, there’s a huge Maks temper tantrum midway. You got frustrated this season, but it never went over-the-top.
Chmerkovskiy: One thing that was amazing this season was I felt a lot of support. This was the first time I was like, “So that’s what it feels like when people are rooting for you.” I didn’t feel any different as far as treatment, like, “You get any production piece you want.” But I felt that people genuinely wanted to see me succeed, and that gave me a lot of confidence. There were tense moments, but that tension wasn’t produced in the form of, “He’s the bad guy” again. It was more, “This stuff is getting to him because it’s so close and so real.”