DWTSLast season of Dancing With the Stars was the first one (since season 6) in which the forever hot and sexy Russian Maksim Chmerkovskiy wasn't paired with a star. And it showed. I know I am not the only fan who pined for him pretty severely all season. Now, ABC execs are hinting at a return of Maks for season 17 and I say: BRING IT!!

Truly, the show was just not the same without the Chmerkovskiy fireworks, and his brother Val is just not cutting it. Besides, Maks is rumored to be dating model Kate Upton, who is currently the hottest thing around town. I am sure she would bring the viewers if she happened to visit.

Maks isn't the only pro rumored to be making a return to the dance floor, either. It looks like Derek Hough will also be making a return. Thank goodness.

When asked, Hough apparently said he would be coming back and that the format was changing. Now the show will only be one time a week, which, honestly, is probably the most exciting change of all. Other rumors include:

  • Cheryl Burke IS returning: Some were suggesting she may be bored, but Burke ended that when she said (more or less) that if the show would have her, she's on board.
  • Len will be returning: There has been some back and forth talk about whether Len Goodman is returning as judge, but it sounds like he will be and it also sounds like maybe there will be a fourth judge as well.
  • Premiere date: The show WILL premiere on September 16 and will only be once a week now. It's not clear how that will work with voting, but I guess all will be revealed in time.
  • Mark Ballas may not be returning: Ballas has been a pretty consistent presence on the show since season 5, but it looks like he may not be returning for season 17. Or, at least, it's unclear. "The [cast] announcement is usually two days after we find out if we're on. That's how tight they keep it," he said.

So ... looks like season 17 is going to give us a big shakeup. And I say: GOOD. It's about time. Changing up the pros isn't my favorite change, but the once a week format is huge. I feel like it will draw in a lot more fans who might otherwise hate the idea of committing to three hours a week.

Do you think these changes sound good?

 

Image via ABC