Maksim Chmerkovskiy: The 'Dancing' Dance-Off Is Like A Gladiator 'Death Match!'

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Melissa Gilbert perform during Latin week on 'Dancing,' April 16, 2012 Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Melissa Gilbert perform during Latin week on 'Dancing,' April 16, 2012

Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are working hard to avoid the newly introduced Bottom 2 “dance-off” on Season 14 of “Dancing with the Stars.”

“It’s awful. It’s one of the worst things ever,” Melissa told Access Hollywood on Thursday of how she and some of her fellow celebs on the show feel about the new feature that pits the Bottom 2 pairs against each other, with the judges deciding to keep just one of the couples.

“I get the point, I get the idea… I hated the feeling,” Maks added, of what went through his head earlier this week as he watched Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff battle it out with Jaleel White and Kym Johnson (the latter pair stayed). “It’s kind of like the gladiator thing – ‘To the death; and we all became friends. We’re not supposed to fight each other. This is wrong!’”

“Everything about it,” Melissa chimed in, shaking her head.

“And the floor opens up into a virtual death match,” Maks said. “It’s like, ‘Come on!’ It’s just not good.”

Melissa and Maks have managed to hang in the competition week after week, despite their scores, which haven’t moved them out of the lower part of the pack, and Maks is thankful to the fans who are keeping them in the game.

“This is the first season where I feel like, ‘Damn! We have a lot of support out there,’ because I don’t feel the support in the ballroom,” he said.

Next week’s show is inspired by Motown and the pair cannot wait to hit the ballroom and Viennese waltz to “Ooh Baby,” which legend Smokey Robinson will perform as they show off their moves.

“Having Smokey Robinson perform while we dance to it… I really don’t care if we get a 5, I got to dance to Smokey Robinson live singing,” Maks said.

“For me, dancing, with Smokey Robinson singing that song, is beyond a dream,” Melissa noted. “I’m going to try not to cry through the whole thing.”

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