The scariest moment on Monday night's Dancing With the Stars didn't come from the ghosts, goblins and ghoulish make-up. It came from seeing pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy throw around his celebrity partner, soccer star Hope Solo, in a videotaped group rehearsal for the Team Paso Doble.
"Would you just stop," said Solo. "Stop what?" asked Chmerkovskiy. "Being you," she answered.
"Wow, that was rough," said one disturbed audience member. "He looks like he's as mad at her as he is at the judges," said another.
Chmerkovskiy has been putting out fires since last Monday's heated outburst at head judge Len Goodman, who criticized Solo's rumba as her "worst dance of the whole season." Goodman also reminded Chmerkovskiy that he's been in the business for decades. "Maybe it's time to get out," he replied.
There were no such exchanges on Monday night, and Solo said that she appreciated Chmerkovskiy's support. "I'm honestly grateful that he sticks up for me," she said after the show. "That's what a team is for, right? He's my teammate."
But the rehearsal footage struck a decidedly different note. "I was there for that whole rehearsal," explained troop dancer Teddy Volynets, who is a student of Chmerkovskiy's and stepped in to rehearse with Solo after Chmerkovskiy injured his toe. "There was a moment where it seemed a little rough, and it was due to the fact that when you come into a team situation, every single piece is just as important as the others. And if one piece isn't working, you're letting down the rest of the team. So that's just more pressure on the pros and more pressure on the celebs. Some people are bound to crack a little bit and that's bound to be recorded."
Volynets said he got Solo to laugh and relax because he was there for such a short time. "I got to taste Maks' life for three days. He's been doing it since September. I was there having fun, but if I was in Maks' shoes, I'd be exactly like him."
For her part, Solo seems to accept that harsh comments and tough teaching go with the territory. "It's the seventh week, we're getting okay scores," she said. "You wouldn't want to see me if he wasn't tough on me. I'd be like...I don't know what I'd be like out there on the dance floor."
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