Maksim Chmerkovskiy is pleased to be paired with Melissa Gilbert for Season 14 of “Dancing with the Stars,” but he admitted on Monday’s Access Hollywood Live he had no idea who she was when they first met.
“She walks in, and my first assessment was: she’s in great shape, we’re gonna be good. And the second thing I thought was I had no clue who she is,” Maks told Kit Hoover and guest co-host, “The Bachelor’s” Chris Harrison.
It’s not totally his fault, the professional dancer spent his formative years in the studio, and he was just a little tyke when Melissa’s show went off the air.
“I mean, it ended when I was 3,” Maks told Kit and Chris.
While Maks doesn’t have a “Little House on the Prairie” knowledge base, if he irritates his partner, she’s assigned her show as homework.
“She said every time, if I do something — as a punishment — I have to watch an episode and it’s this thick,” Maks noted, separating his fingers about five inches apart. “It’s like three CDs in each sleeve, it’s like, ridiculous.”
Melissa previously said it was Marlee Matlin and Maks’ former “DWTS” partner Kirstie Alley who convinced her to do the show.
And the pro said on Monday that his run for mirrorball glory with Melissa already has echoes of his famed partner.
“This is gonna be great. It’s gonna be very similar to Kirstie Alley’s season,” he said.
Getting to the finals will take a lot of work, and Maks is already suspecting there could be some serious competition from former “Family Matters” star Jaleel White.
“Urkel! Have you seen Stefan pop out once in a while?” Maks asked, referring to Urkel’s suave alter-ego character on the ‘90s sitcom. “He’s got moves!”