Nastiest ‘Dancing With the Stars’ feuds through the years

The path to the mirrorball trophy is not always easy.

Tangoing to the top of ABC’s hottest celebrity dance show is not simple, and managing to do it without stepping on toes — your partner’s or other competitors’ — is not an easy feat.

Whether it is a judge getting angry with a contestant or it’s just bickering between two couples, or simply Maksim Chmerkovskiy against … well … everyone, the ballroom is no stranger to a good, old-fashioned celebrity feud.

Carrie Ann Inaba and Hannah Brown

Season 15 contestant Hannah Brown once feuded with ballroom legend and “DWTS” judge Carrie Ann Inaba after Brown, 29, claimed the veteran judge was being “too harsh.”

Carrie Ann Inaba and Hannah Brown
StarPix; Getty Images

In 2020, however, Brown recanted her statement saying that she took Inaba’s critiques too personally.

“She’s a woman, so she’s very intuitive, I think, of what my emotions were, and she was right a lot of the time,” Brown told Kaitlyn Bristowe on her podcast “Off the Vine.”  

“I was like, ‘You can’t be right! Do not point out what’s happening on national television right now, because I’m going to burst into tears, and I am trying to keep it together.’ That was a lot of it,” she added.

 Kaitlyn Bristowe and Carrie Ann Inalba 

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Carrie Ann Inalba 

Inaba also found herself coming to blows with Bristowe, 38, after the former “Bachelorette” started to question Inaba’s intentions after two weeks of low scores.

“I just want to know where it comes from. Is it from a place where you believe in us and you want us to do better? Is it coming from a place of, ‘I was hard on Hannah and you’re another ‘Bachelor’ girl?’ ” Bristowe told Entertainment Tonight in November 2020. “Where is it coming from and how are we supposed to take it and bring it into our next rehearsal? What do you want us to channel and use from it? It’s very hard to understand that.”

According to Bristowe’s partner at the time, Artem Chigvintsev (Inaba’s ex) also claimed the critiques felt “personal.”

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Hope Solo

Hope Solo claimed that Maksim Chmerkovskiy once hit her in the face.

Hope Solo is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Maks Chmerkovskiy. Suffice it to say, Solo, 42, claimed that Chmerkovskiy, 43, hit her across the face during rehearsal, an accusation the Ukrainian choreographer has repeatedly denied.

“People can be bad or good or whatever. You can have a s–tty life growing up,” said Chmerkovskiy on the “Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss” podcast in 2015.

“You can have a tough upbringing. You can have history. You can have whatever. But, if you are just a bad person, you know what I mean? There’s no excuse for that.”

Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani

Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani

Despite being able to handle eight kids, Kate Gosselin, 48, seemed unable to handle the ballroom to the point where her partner Tony Dovolani, 50, threatened to leave the show due to Gosselin’s whining.

“You’re not taking into consideration how I learn,” shouted the “Kate Plus 8” star.

“I’m done, I’m done today. I quit,” seethed Dovolani.

Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev

Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev
Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Mischa Barton’s feud with Artem Chigvintsev reportedly came down to costuming issues during “The O.C.” star’s brief cha-cha on Season 22.

“I had no idea it would be so bad. I got told off by my dancer,” recalled Barton, 37, while speaking with the Ringer in 2016. “I was supposed to control the costumes, I was told that I could do the design aspect of it, that’s kind of the reason why I agreed to do it. That didn’t happen.”

According to Barton, the show had been wooing her for a while and promised to give her full creative control but later reneged on its promise.

“It wasn’t collaborative like a choreographer on a film set,” continued Barton. “I was so confused by it. It was like ‘The Hunger Games.’ It was all a popularity contest. It was awful. I was so glad to get kicked off.”

Cheryl Burke and Ian Ziering

Cheryl Burke and Ian Ziering
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9021-uh oh!

Cheryl Burke and her partner Ian Ziering came to blows over the fact that Burke, 39, hated the way Ziering, 59, pronounced his name.

“My least favorite [partner] would be Ian Ziering,” Burke later confessed on the podcast “Allegedly.” The fact that his name is not EE-AN and it’s EYE-AN makes me want to throw up.”

“It made me want to slit my wrists,” she continued. “I was, like, crying to executives. I was like, is there any way to please to just eliminate us? They’re like, we can’t. We can’t do that and I swear, every time I asked, we just kept going. We would last till the end.”

Julianne Hough and Amber Rose

Julianne Hough and Amber Rose
Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Image (2)

Dancer Amber Rose claimed that judge Julianne Hough once body-shamed her when she appeared on the 23rd season of “DWTS.”

Hough, 35, later apologized to Rose, saying, “My ‘uncomfortable’ comment was about the fact that I felt like I wanted more out of the performance.”

She continued: “When someone is doing a hot, sexy dance like that without the right amount of energy that is required, it can be uncomfortable to watch. Trust me I’m ALL for a sexy booty dance!! We all know that!! And any kind of body shaming goes against everything I believe in.”

Rose also buried the hatchet by replying, “When you said [‘I feel a little uncomfortable’], I felt very embarrassed. And I felt like you weren’t talking about my dance. But if I misunderstood, then I apologize.”

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Chmerkovskiy’s next partner was the former health guru Kirstie Alley who waltzed her way into the ballroom for the show’s 12th season.

Though things started off friendly, things took a sour turn when Alley revealed to her partner that she practiced Scientology.

“She stopped getting along with me,” claimed Chmerkovskiy on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” in 2014. “We had a great relationship…But I got a message now that I am associating with other people that she can’t be associated with, I am no longer to be spoken with, and sorry, but it is what it is…I think the world of her.”

He added: “I’m not judging people by their religion. I’m Jewish. I don’t really believe in science fiction, but whatever” continued the choreographer.

Alley, who died at 71 in 2022, fired back that he had “ass raped” her with the comments.

Bruno Tonioli and Charlotte McKinney

Bruno Tonioli and Charlotte McKinney
Getty Images; FilmMagic

Eccentric judge Bruno Tonioli, 67, was slammed by former model Charlotte McKinney, 30, after the outspoken judge told her that she was “never going to win the Nobel Prize for quantum physics, but you are easy on the eyes.”

McKinney later slammed the choreographer by telling “E! News” that it was totally “uncalled for.”

“I believe it was super uncalled for,” said McKinney. “Especially after last week with the bullying and talking about just being nice and I didn’t see where it came from. We weren’t talking about being smart or anything like that. So it was just uncalled for.”

Brooke Burke and “DWTS

Brooke Burke and “DWTS
Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Brooke Burke, who served as co-host alongside Tom Bergeron after winning the show in Season 7, claimed she was blindsided when the ABC show decided to fire her in favor of sports commentator Erin Andrews.

“I have enjoyed seven seasons co-hosting DWTS but understand the need for change considering the position of the show at this juncture,” said Burke, 52, in a statement to” E! News.” “I’ve always been one to embrace change and looking forward to pursuing opportunities I previously wasn’t able to entertain because of contractual obligations to the show.”

She added: “I’ve seen my fair share of shocking eliminations in the ballroom but this one takes the cake.”

Abby Lee Miller and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Abby Lee Miller and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

This “Dance Moms” star came ready to judge “DWTS” competitors harder than the girls who attend her classes and found that Chmerkovskiy wasn’t a fan of her methods.

“I really don’t care for anything she has to say,” Chmerkovskiy said to Andrews after Miller’s critique.

Miller, 58, snapped back at Chmerkovskiy by telling E! that his comment was “disrespectful.”

“I don’t think it was hurtful to me, no sweat off of my back,” slammed Miller. “But I think it was a little disrespectful to ABC and to ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and to a judge.” 

Season 32 of “Dancing With the Stars,” which announced its full cast earlier this month, returns Tuesday and will continue to air weekly at 8 p.m.on ABC and Disney+.