- (Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
Maksim Chmerkovskiy is making a surprise return to "Dancing with the Stars" despite leaving the show after season 15.
A fan favorite, the professional dancer appeared on the dancing reality series for 14 seasons before deciding to take up Broadway and other pursuits.
Nevertheless, Chmerkovskiy will serve as a guest judge on ABC's hit show during week 10 of the current 17th season of the show, where he will offer his assessment of the five remaining contestants.
It comes as no surprise that the pro dancer is returning to the show since he is part of ABC's "family."
"Maks is part of the family," said ABC's president of entertainment Paul Lee back in August. "He may well be back. We love having him be part of the show."
As for why Chmerkovskiy left "DWTS" to begin with, the 33-year-old explained his need to do something new.
"I just want to set the record straight to all of my amazing fans that I will unfortunately not be returning for this season of 'DWTS," he said back in Feb. 2013 while on "Good Morning America."
"I've been a pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities that have been made possible because of 'DWTS,'" he added. "I'm going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations."
The pro dancer has remained busy in his personal life as well- Chmerkovskiy is romantically linked to model Kate Upton.
His guest judge appearance follows that of former "DWTS" pro Julianne Hough who appeared during Week 5.
Meanwhile, stars including Amber Riley, Leah Remini, Corbin Bleu, Jack Osbourne, and Bill Engvall are still in the running for season 17's mirrorball trophy on "DWTS."
Just last week, Chermokovskiy's brother Val was eliminated from "DWTS" alongside partner Elizabeth Berkley.
"DWTS" airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. EST.