Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Sharing Fatherhood Journey With Val (Exclusive)

 Maksim Chmerkovskiy is sharing a beautiful new bonding experience with his brother, Val Chmerkovskiy: fatherhood. 

“I’m excited that we’re new parents again together,” Maks gushed to ET’s Denny Directo on Tuesday, backstage at Dancing With the Stars’ Most Memorable Year Night. “I’m ecstatic about the life we get to live. … You know that the situation that the world is in. I mean, if you’re not counting your blessings when you can, you just need to look around.”

Maks and wife Peta Murgatroyd had reason to celebrate in June as they welcomed their second child, a son named Rio. The little one’s arrival came six years after the birth of their first child, son Shai, in January 2017 and their marriage later that year. Coincidentally, the age difference between Maks and Val is also six years. 

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Meanwhile, Val became a first-time dad with wife Jenna Johnson in January when she gave birth to their son, Rome. 

“I’m now taking advice from them,” Maks joked, noting that it’s been a while since he’s been in the trenches of newborn life. 

“I had to clean up some baby formula from my shoulder,” he quipped. “I forgot what that was like for a little bit. But, you know, we’re back at it.” 

He also shared that the couple is already thinking about adding to their growing brood, saying that they’re “looking to expand the fam” in the future. 

“We’re definitely not saying we’re done,” he said, noting that he and Peta are also focused on their newly launched Maks & Peta marketplace and skincare line. 

During Tuesday’s broadcast, the Dancing With the Stars family paid special tribute to the late Len Goodman in a heartfelt performance choreographed by Val and Jenna. 

“It was a lot, and I think we had to kind of remove the emotion for a little bit and just structurally be like, ‘How do we accomplish this?'” Johnson recalled of the dance — which included past and present pros, including Kym Johnson-Herjavec, Tony Dovolani, Anna Trebunskaya, Edyta Śliwińska,  Karina Smirnoff, Mark Ballas, Louis van Amstel, and Derek and Julianne Hough.

“This was like our love letter to him,” she added. “And I have to thank all of the dancers for making it come to life because it was just really more than I ever could have imagined.”

Val also spoke with ET about the emotional routine. 

“It was a great honor to be given that opportunity. The dance choreographed itself. I think it was kind of like keeping it simple, staying out of the way,” Val explained. “You have incredible dancers, masters of their craft. I just wanted to make sure that I kind of set the stage for them to do what they do. There’s also power in synchronicity and being together and both Jen and I wanted that piece to read less of like these personal nods to Len but rather this kind of collective moment where we can all pay respect to a man that has done a lot for the dance community.”

In honor of Goodman — who died in April at age 78 after serving as a judge on DWTS for nearly its entire history — the show revealed that the iconic DWTS trophy would be renamed in his memory as the Len Goodman Memorial Mirrorball Trophy.

Dancing With the Stars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC and Disney+.


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