'DWTS' Season 23: Maksim Chmerkovskiy Returns to Competition as Pro Dancer

The outspoken fan favorite made the announcement on "GMA."

August 25, 2016, 8:18 AM

— -- Maskim Chmerkovskiy, considered the bad boy of the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom, will rejoin the cast as a pro dancer on the new season.

Chmerkovskiy, 36, made the announcement live on “Good Morning America” today.

“I’m looking at this montage you guys put together, and seems like the last 12 years, everything that happened in my life had some sort of relationship to the show, and why keep staying away from stuff that constantly has you on?” he explained.

The pro dancer said he feels great, largely because of his successful summer tour with his younger brother, Val Chmerkovskiy.

“In the process, I somehow got in the best shape of my life,” Maks Chmerkovskiy said of the “Maks & Val” tour. “My knees are back, my ankles are great, and I just wanted this to continue — the feeling, the positivity. There’s so much love there.”

The outspoken fan favorite was the season 18 pro champion — his only win in more than a dozen seasons on “Dancing With the Stars.” After taking the mirror ball trophy in May 2014 with celebrity partner Meryl Davis, Chmerkovskiy announced that he was “done” dancing on the show.

He has appeared on “Dancing” since then but only as a guest judge.

“I’ve done it. There’s no pressure,” he said. “The basic principal of the show stays the same, and you just come in and do your best and help whoever your partner is to do their best. I’m not running after multiple mirror balls. That’s not where my focus is at. I feel absolutely no pressure having to win again. I do, however, know that I’m a very competitive person, so its going to come out, and I’m looking forward to that.”

The names of eight other season 23 dance pros were revealed Tuesday on “GMA.”

Joining him as pros for the season are Lindsay Arnold, Sharna Burgess, Witney Carson, Artem Chigvintsev, Sasha Farber, Allison Holker, Gleb Savchenko and Val Chmerkovskiy.

Not returning is Peta Murgatroyd, who is engaged to Maks Chmerkovskiy and is pregnant with their first child.

“She’s doing amazing and getting bigger, and the baby is kicking, and it’s phenomenal,” the proud father-to-be said. “It’s amazing. I can’t even express it.”

The remaining pros and all 13 of their celebrity partners will be announced Aug. 30 on “GMA.”

The new season of “Dancing With the Stars” premieres Monday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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