"Dancing With the Stars" pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy will dance again next week on the hit ABC show after surviving elimination last night, but what he won't do is back down from negative comments he made towards the show's three judges.
"I definitely have nothing to apologize for," Chmerkovskiy said today on "Good Morning America." "I have nothing to apologize for to Len, and certainly not to Carrie Ann. She can make all the faces she wants."
"The last time I apologized was to my grandma when she was dying of cancer," he said
Len and Carrie Ann would be Len Goodman and Carrie Ann Inaba, the two judges who delivered particularly frank critiques of Chmerkovskiy and his celeb partner Hope Solo's Broadway-themed performance on Monday night's show, resulting in a low score of just 20 out of 30 points.
This is your worst dance of the season in my opinion," Goodman said, after the pair's dance to "Seasons of Love" from the musical Rent.
Chmerkovskiy protested and, as Goodman started to reply, saying that he'd been in the business for 50 years, Chmerkovskiy cut him off with a terse: "Maybe it's time to get out."
Inaba then stepped in, telling Chmerkovskiy, "Don't be disrespectful like that."
In a backstage interview with co-host Brooke Burke Charvet, Chmerkovskiy added, "With all due respect, this is my show. I helped make it what it is."
"I'm in this business because I love it," Chmerkovskiy said today on "GMA." "I can't really lose with remarks like this."
The "my show" comment, however, is the one statement that Chermkovskiy now admits has been misconstrued by fans and the media in the days since his outburst.
"I love the show. I love the fans. I love every aspect of it and that was the whole idea behind what came out wrong with "my show," Chmerkovskiy said.
"When I got on this show six years ago I treated it as a dance competition and everyone here tried really hard to change my mind and say 'Look Maks, it's a show, there are other elements to it,' so I embraced it," he explained. "But one thing I'm not going to embrace is pointed fingers and disrespectful remarks."
"Why is it that the judges are allowed to compare us to animals and say stuff they think is funny when it's nothing constructive at all and we can't say that they're wrong, basically," he said.
This season, Goodman and Inaba's judging partner Bruno Tonioli has called celeb contestant, and transgender activist, Chaz Bono a "little penguin" and compared him to an ewok. Bono and pro partner Lacey Schwimmer were eliminated Tuesday night, allowing Chmerkovskiy and Solo to move on to Week 7 of the dancing show.
"I don't regret anything. That's why I think I'm a bit misunderstood in this situation," he said. "Everyone is waiting for me to bow my head, take a knee and say I'm sorry and plea for forgiveness. I have nothing to apologize for."
Chmerkovskiy is also not apologizing for, or defending, comments made by his fellow professional dancers in support of Goodman, Inaba and Tonioli.
"Derek Hough has been very supportive of his personal career on the show," Chmerkovskiy said, referring to his fellow pro dancer who has been particularly vocal in support of the judges, comments Chmerkovskiy sees as more about Hough himself.
Hough is the show's only three-time champion. Two of his three wins came with Scherzinger and Grey, while he and Lake are far and away leading the judges' scoreboard this season.
Lake and Hough, Chermkovisky and Solo and the other, remaining four couples will all be back on the dance floor next Monday night, where Chmerkovskiy hopes the lingering feud and still-escalated emotions won't affect his star partner.
"One thing I don't want to do is to have Hope have any negative vibe out of this," he told "GMA." "She's truly our star and she's been doing an amazing job."