'Dancing' stars Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd to return to the show
"Dancing with the Stars" pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd are returning to the show next season, the couple announced live today on "Good Morning America."
"I am definitely a little bit nervous but I am very excited to get back. I have definitely missed the dance floor.” Murgatroyd said. "I haven’t been able to defend my title with Nyle [DiMarco], so I want to get back out there."
In 2016, Murgatroyd won season 22 with her partner, model/actor Nyle DiMarco, beating out ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee to take the coveted mirror ball trophy.
Murgatroyd’s season 24 return comes just months after giving birth to the couple’s first child, a baby boy named Shai, in January. The new mom said she plans to “take it slowly.”
“I just want to be healthy. It’s going to take a little bit longer I think to get back up to the fitness I was doing and had before,” she said. “I think it’s going to be ok. I am going to take it slowly and hopefully I have an awesome partner to go through this with.”
Murgatroyd, 30, and Chmerkovskiy, 37, now a couple and doting parents, have had a friendly rivalry on the dance floor over the years. Chmerkovskiy said he is still determined to come out on top.
“I don’t know if everybody remembers the history, but last time we were together on the same season, I won,” he said. “I don’t care how many [mirrorball trophies] she has. We’ll see what happens.”
The couple first opened up about life as new parents in an interview with "GMA" that aired last week. Murgatroyd said that she has seen a change in Chmerkovskiy since becoming a dad.
"I think he's just more serene, more calm. He's a dad now," she said. "I mean, we have these massive responsibilities now hanging over our heads and I think it's just, it really sinks in when you see your child for the first time."
Chmerkovskiy said that Murgatroyd was an "amazing" mother, and added that he was a bit nervous about being a first-time parent.
"It's very scary," he said. "I find myself sort of portraying like, 'I got this,' and then on the inside I'm like, 'I don't got this. I don't got this.'"
The couple added that Shai's name means "gift" in Hebrew. "Every time somebody comes over, you kind of share him with somebody else," Chmerkovskiy said.
Today, Chmerkoyskiy said he is smitten with his son and that being away from him to compete on the show will be tough.
"I was always wanting to have kids and never thought it would be like this. You can’t just stop staring at this little person,” the first-time dad said. “This is the only difficult part about coming back on the show this time because it will take time away from being with this dude. But like I said, I just want to make her coming back and winning as difficult as possible.”
The "Dancing" veterans also sat down with Us Weekly magazine to discuss their return to the show, telling the magazine that parenting made them both "less selfish."
"Dancing with the Stars" Season 24 will premiere on March 20, 2017 on ABC. The latest issue of "Us Weekly" hits newsstands nationwide on Wednesday.
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