Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Melissa Rycroft
Leave it to Maksim Chmerkovskiy to get everyone riled up again.
The unabashedly honest Dancing with the Stars pro told TVGuide.com that Melissa Rycroft's dancing background gives her an "unfair" advantage over the rest of the cast — and he's not backing down.
"Let me be that voice of everybody who thinks [it] but won't say it," Chmerkovskiy tells Access Hollywood.
Au, contraire, Maks. It turns out other people will say it too.
"I mean, I can't compete next to someone that's had a lot of dance training," said his partner, Denise Richards.
And while country singer Chuck Wicks jokes, "Melissa is a better dancer than I am," his gal pal/pro partner, Julianne Hough, admits that "compared to everybody else, there is a huge difference in ability."
Rycroft and partner Tony Dovolani, who've placed second in the standings the past two weeks, say they don't understand where the criticism is coming from, since Chmerkovskiy has had his share of experienced partners.
"Well, I would love to say to Maks, 'How about Mel?'" Dovolani said, referring to Spice Girl Mel B., who finished second with Chmerkovskiy in Season 5. "That's all I'm going to say."
Chmerkovskiy concedes that his opinion doesn't matter in the long run. "Does she have dance training? Of course. But it doesn't matter if the people love what she does," he says. "You know, Mazel Tov to her, as we say."