When you watch Dancing With The Stars, part of the fun is identifying which duos have the best chemistry. That's how a lot of people choose who to cheer for. Well, that, and which Chmerkovskiy brother is wearing the deepest V.
But for the most part, fans want to see partnerships that have some type of relationship on the stage. It's what makes a good performance even better. These duos, however, made things heat up off the stage as well.
1. Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough
Elizabeth appeared on the show in 2008, and was partnered with fan-favorite Hough. The duo dated for almost a year, with Hough admitting that "when I competed I always fell in love with my partners."
When Elizabeth and Hough broke up, everything was amicable.
“You’ve gotta have some time away and then you can come back together and be friends again," Elizabeth said of her and Hough's relationship. "We just went to dinner – he’s amazing. We just had dinner together and caught up. We’re friends.”
2. Julianne Hough and Chuck Wicks
Hough, who is now a judge on DWTS, was once paired with country singer Chuck Wicks. While on the show together, Wicks and Hough fell for each other and tried to make a relationship work. However, both had busy schedules and it didn't work out. Hough admitted, though, that while she was with Wicks, her future ex-boyfriend Ryan Seacrest hit on her during an interview!
“I had another boyfriend, Chuck Wicks, whom I met on Dancing With The Stars. While we were dating, we went on Ryan’s radio show together. At the end, Ryan said something like, ‘You guys really have something special!’ And I thought to myself, ‘He’s so full of sh-t right now.'”
As for Wicks, he said their relationship was great.
“[At] Christmas, Jules and I stayed home, here in Nashville,” the singer said in 2009. “We just relaxed because we had been so busy. Anytime we get to come home, and just chill out with family and friends, watch a movie and go to dinner, it’s great.”
3. Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson
This couple is still together, and expecting twins! Herjavec and Johnson met in 2015 when he was asked to be a star on the show, and he accepted seeing as it's one of his favorite shows. The Shark Tank investor had just gone through a messy split from his wife, and he and Johnson bonded over their past heartbreaks and love of dancing.
“We started out on the show,” Herjavec said. “It’s like we’ve known each other since day one. So in some ways, it’s still exciting, we just got married. But in other ways, I feel like I’ve known her forever.”
But perhaps the people who get around the most are the Chmerkovskiy brothers.
4. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Janel Parrish
There were always rumors that Parrish and Chmerkovskiy were dating, especially since they kissed during one of their routines, but things were never made official by either of them. However, in Chmerkovskiy's new book, he finally confirmed that the pair dated.
“Gradually all the interactions between us took on a highly personal flavor. We entered into a romance,” he wrote. “I fell into the trap of letting relationship melodrama get in the way of me sticking to the script, which was to focus on dance. I let the line get blurred. I didn’t separate the personal from the work. The reason I came to look at season 19 as disappointing wasn’t a result of the content or not winning, but what appeared to matter was the romance, not the performances.”
5. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Amber Rose
When Rose competed on DWTS, she was partnered with Val's older brother, Maks. The duo didn't last long, but soon it became clear that Rose won something other than a trophy: love.
“It's amazing," Rose said on her show. "It's so good. It's been four months now and it's awesome. I love his family and everyone's so great. He's great. Right now, it's just absolutely amazing and I'm super, super happy."
But just five months after the couple went hot and heavy, they called it quits. There was really no explanation behind the breakup, but Chmerkovskiy posted some cryptic quotes about enlightenment. Rose just said the breakup was due to "personal reasons."
“[Val] and I broke up due to our own personal reasons but we still care about each other tremendously and we love each other’s families even more,” she wrote on Instagram. “So please understand that we are all human and we have feelings too. Nobody got dumped and nothing we do over here is malicious it’s just how life works sometimes.”
6. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson
Val and Jenna have dated on and off for a couple of years, both exploring other relationships. But when you know, you know, and the couple reunited in the summer of 2017 before older brother Maks's wedding. Even though the relationship was fairly new, Val had no issues talking about his future with Jenna.
“Is that what it’s called, the wedding bug? Or have I gained a different perspective on, you know, what love is and what happiness is?” he shared. “You know, I’m in a great place and I’m in love, and I’m very grateful for that.”
As for the other Chmerkovskiy brother, well he's got a long history himself.
7. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff
It makes sense that these pros would end up falling for each other, considering how much time is spent filming the show, but the relationships don't always work out. Maks and Karina began dating, and not long after they were engaged on New Year's Day 2009.
It seemed like a happily after ever, but the relationship fizzled after Karina admitted she “knew in [her] heart of hearts from the beginning of their relationship that he wasn’t the one for her.”
Apparently, Maks was more serious about the relationship than she was.
“Maks was ready to start a family and have children with Karina, and he came to realize that wasn’t really what she wanted," a source said.
“There is bad blood,” Maks said in an interview. “I will never speak to that person again.”
8. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Julianne Hough
Yes, even the dancers hook up with each other! Hough and the older Chmerkovskiy brother were rumored to be together after Hough's split with Wick, but it never really worked out.
“Julianne told Maks she didn’t want to have a serious relationship,” one source said. But not long after, she began dating Ryan Seacrest. Chmerkovskiy didn't appreciate the heartbreak, so he started rumors saying that she was cheating on Seacrest with him. Those never held any water, and it seemed like the duo was going to try and be cordial.
However, when Hough returned as a guest judge during a later season, she accused Chmerkovskiy of "phoning it in" during his performance. The professional dancer took the criticism graciously, but later called the comments "absurd."
9. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Willa Ford
While it was under wraps for a while, Maks admitted on his podcast during a game of F***, Marry Kill, that he and Willa dated. But it wasn't his fondest memory.
“I did not have any relations with any of my partners… well, one!” he said. “Willa Ford, we dated for a little while — I’m gonna stick that in the f**k category.”
10. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd
Maks finally found the one for him, but it wasn't an easy road. Maks and Peta began dating after his failed engagement to Karina Smirnoff, but after 10 months they called it off. However, true love will always find a way, and they got back together in 2014. In December of 2015, Maks and Peta announced that they were engaged. Maks totally admits he never should have left Peta in the first place.
“I dodged a bullet because she could have fallen in love with somebody else and this never would’ve happened. She’s my best friend. She makes me a better man,” he said.
The couple welcomed their first child together, Shai Alexander, in January of 2017, and in July of that same year they tied the knot.
But now, back to the non-Chmerkovskiy brother romances, including a potential underage romance.
11. Cheryl Burke and Chad Johnson
Burke, who's a veteran of the show, has spoken in the past about why co-stars often end up in romantic relationships.
“When you have two single people in a room and you are spending so much time together, it’s natural to have chemistry and to be curious,” Burke said. “All of a sudden you think you are in love because you are grinding on each other seven days a week.”
She herself has had some backstage hookups, including former NFLer Chad Johnson.
“We maybe had a little bit of a fling, I wouldn’t take it to that word dating," she said.
After the couple was eliminated, Johnson gave Burke a $10,000 diamond ring.
“I gave it back to him,” she said. “I felt weird wearing that big diamond that first of all is way too big for my hand. And it sent a weird message. Like, what are you guys engaged?"
12. Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas
This was one of the most controversial hookups of the show, mainly because Johnson was only 17 when she appeared on the show. The Olympic medalist was paired with fan-favourite Ballas, who was 23 years old at the time. They took home the Mirrorball Trophy for their season, but it was then revealed that the pair had allegedly been in a relationship for the entire run.
Both parties denied the relationship, but when they returned for all-stars, they weren't partnered together. Strange, considering their past success, but rumors of a nasty break-up started to appear and suddenly everything made sense.
13. Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff
The former Saved By The Bell star and pro-dancer tried to ignore their feelings for each other, but it didn't work.
"I thought that he was extremely hot and charming,” Smirnoff told People. “We actually tried to fight the attraction as long as we could. But obviously, that didn’t last too long at all.”
Sadly, Lopez didn't fight his attraction to other women either, and rumors started circling about his infidelity. They were doing long distance, which didn't help anything. Smirnoff confronted Lopez about the rumors of his cheating over the phone, and it didn't go well.
“He pretty much confirmed everything,” she said. “It felt like the world came to an end for a second. I hit the ground, and I couldn’t get up. That was when all the little pieces came together in my head. You come to that realization that this is not what you want out of love and out of life, and this is not who you want to be with.”
14. Mark Ballas and Sabrina Bryan
You always remember your first, which is probably why Ballas and Bryan hit it off so well. Bryan was Ballas's first ever dance partner on DWTS, and coming from a dance background herself, they probably had a lot in common. After they were eliminated, the duo tried to take their relationship to the next level.
“We’re going out tomorrow,” Bryan told TV Guide at the time. “He’s taking me out for a surprise this weekend and he won’t tell me what it is. He’s joking that it’s our first date because we’ve always hung out, millions of times, millions of dinners. But this is different.”
The relationship ended almost as quickly as it started.