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Maksim Chmerkovskiy on His ‘DWTS’ Return: ‘I Am in the Best Shape of My Life’

On a quest for another mirrorball! Maksim Chmerkovskiy is coming back for season 23 of Dancing With the Stars, and he tells Us Weekly exclusively why he decided to return to the competition after retiring in 2014. 

Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images

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“I decided to return to DWTS because I had an amazing time dancing with my brother this summer during our tour. It felt great,” he tells Us. “Getting back into shape allowed me to entertain this idea. I am in the best shape of my life, so why not spend a few months with my brother and the cast members and have fun!”

The 14-time DWTS pro officially made the announcement on Good Morning America on Thursday, August 25. “The last 12 years, everything that happened in my life had some sort of relationship to the show,” he said. “I just wanted this to continue, the feeling, the positivity, so much love out there,” he said of the energy on the Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way tour.

Maks and Val Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

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The dad-to-be, who is expecting his first child with fiancée and fellow pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd, opened up about competing against his brother, Val Chmerkovskiy. “We’ve done that before for a bit of time,” Maksim said. “Rightfully so, I feel like he’s become the star of the show, and that’s not going to change. I’m just coming in to do my thing.”

“I’m just excited,” he continued. “The way it came together and the way I ended up on Dancing With the Stars as a pro this season is very different than any other season that I’ve done. I’m looking forward to that new way of being on the show.”

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Maksim also gave an update on Murgatroyd’s pregnancy, saying, “She’s doing amazing and getting bigger and the baby is kicking and it’s phenomenal.”

Maks performs in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 26, 2016. Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

Good Morning America will announce the full cast on Tuesday, August 30. ABC already announced eight pros for this season who will be competing alongside Maksim: Val, Witney Carson, Sharna Burgess, Artem Chigvintsev, Lindsay Arnold, Allison Holker, Sasha Farber and Gleb Savchenko. As Us Weekly previously reported, Amber Rose and controversial swimmer Ryan Lochte are both signed on for season 23 as celeb participants. 

For more with Maks, watch him and Val take it off for Us Weekly as they play Strip Pop Trivia in the video above!

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