On the season finale of The Masked Dancer, former Dancing With the Stars professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy was revealed as the Sloth, taking second place behind Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas. In an interview after the show, Chmerkovskiy revealed to People that he actually got hurt filming The Masked Dancer, which made him feel completely embarrassed, especially compared to what his wife was doing on Dancing With the Stars at the time.
Here’s what he had to say.
Chmerkovskiy Was Embarrassed That He Got Hurt Doing a Ribbon Dance
In week three of the competition, Chmerkovskiy took the stage to perform a ribbon dance to “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. Because it was so hard to move around in his Sloth costume, he ended up pulling his shoulder, which he found completely embarrassing — so embarrassing that he didn’t tell anybody.
“I pulled my shoulder during the ribbon dance, the second number that we did, where I was told that I’m Will Ferrell,” said Chmerkovskiy, adding, “I didn’t even tell anybody. I was embarrassed. I was like, ‘Bro, you’re basically not doing anything. And you look like a giant pillow. Don’t talk about your injuries.'”
He also said that his costume was “very, very restricting” and while he “tried to make it look easy,” it was actually very difficult to dance in.
“This was very, very hard,” said Chmerkovskiy. “There was limitation in moving. And I would have loved to do some more spins, turn, things of that nature. It wasn’t working because the mask, the way it was built, it’s built on a bicycle helmet. This was the best way that you could build the costume, but it wasn’t the best way to dance in one.”
But He Realizes He Had It Easy Compared to His Wife Peta Murgatroyd
Chmerkovskiy does admit that being a pro on Dancing With the Stars is a harder job than being on The Masked Dancer and as such, he and his wife would come home from filming in very different headspaces.
“[Peta] was on Dancing With the Stars at the same time as I was filming The Masked Dancer and so we would come home in the completely opposite moods,” the professional dancer revealed. “I come home elated with the biggest smile on my face because of my experience. She comes home neurotic with a crazy look in her eyes like the rest of us pros on Dancing with the Stars. That job is severely underrated in how difficult it is. It’s a very hard gig. So we had very different experiences in that period of time.”
Murgatroyd recently appeared on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars alongside celebrity partner Vernon Davis, a former NFL tight end. They were eliminated in week five.
Chmerkovskiy Called The Experience ‘Incredible’ and ‘Very Rewarding’
In a FOX interview from the finale, Chmerkovskiy said that it was “very hard” to dance in a costume, but it was “a very rewarding, incredible experience,” especially for someone who dances professionally, which is not something all the competitors on the show do.
“For me, it’s what I do for a living. I’m on stage a lot … but never as someone else and this was the first time I got to do it without acting. Literally just wearing a mask. It’s very difficult to explain but incredible,” said Chmerkovskiy.
He also said “it was crazy to not be able to tell anybody,” but that also made the experience “very spiritual.”
“You’re within yourself and a very limited circle of people and you kind of have your own personal experience,” he said, adding that rehearing in a ski mask and a full black hoodie and pants was weird.
The Masked Dancer has not yet been renewed for a second season. Its sister show, The Masked Singer, debuts its fifth season on Wednesday, March 10. Dancing With the Stars has not yet been renewed for its 30th season by ABC.
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