Val Chmerkovskiy wants to take partner Elisabetta Canalis to mirrorball glory in his first outing as a professional partner on “Dancing with the Stars” – and he’s feeling the pressure already.
“We have a lot of family back home, I have to redeem our name a little bit,” Val told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Thursday’s Access Hollywood Live, referring to his brother and fellow “DWTS” pro, Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s failure to net the big prize across the 11 seasons he’s been a part of.
Val said he realizes that the hit ABC series is also about Elisabetta’s journey.
“It would mean a lot for me to win the trophy, but it’s not an individual thing. My accomplishments came before the show,” Val said, referring to his two professional world championship titles. “For me the show’s about doing a great job for Elisabetta and having her become a success.”
The Italian television host and model is certainly easy on the eyes, but Val insists they currently aren’t romantically involved, despite much prodding from Billy and Kit.
“I would like to say that we have a relationship and this and that, but that’s not the case,” he told the Access Hollywood Live hosts. “I’m very focused on having her do a great job on the show. She’s focused. This is a great opportunity for her.”
Val admitted Elisabetta is a beautiful woman, but even when she hits the rehearsal studio in midriff-revealing tops, she isn’t entirely distracting from the task at hand.
“Sometimes it can get a little difficult to focus, but honestly, it’s more difficult to focus for her,” Val said, showing off some Chmerkovskiy charm.
The ballroom hunk is confident in his looks, but he admitted to Billy and Kit that his older brother is actually the chick magnet of the Chmerkovskiy brothers.
“Maks has a charm about him. We’re very different. We have different game,” Val noted.