Maks is back.
After sitting out of last week's performance due to "personal issues," professional dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy returned to Dancing With the Stars on Monday night to dance with Vanessa Lachey, despite reports of tension between the couple. And yes, there were tears from both Maks and Vanessa, but not because of any DWTS drama.
For Monday's episode, Maks and Vanessa reunited to perform during one of the series' most emotional nights, "Most Memorable Year." Vanessa chose 2017, after giving birth at only 29 weeks to her third child, Phoenix Robert, with husband Nick Lachey in December 2016.
"I remembered thinking that I hope the baby is okay and don't worry about me," Vanessa, 36, recalled of being rushed into an emergency surgery. "Just make him okay." As for Nick, who is also competing this season, he said of the experience, "I think as a man, you want to believe you can protect your kids. Protect your wife. I never felt so helpless. There was nothing I could do."
Vanessa and Maks danced a rumba to one of Nick's songs, with Vanessa explaining, "This song got us through some really tough times. And helped us bond even closer as a family." By the end of the dance, both Maks and Vanessa were crying, getting emotional over the experience. "I've never cried before the dance. It was the first time, all the feelings that are real, it's real life," Maks, who welcomed his first child, Shai, with wife Peta Murgatroyd just two weeks after Phoenix's birth, said after their dance.
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba called their performance "a beautiful expression of motherhood," and they received a 24 out of 30 points.
Last week, Maks took to Twitter to apologize to Vanessa after sitting out from last Monday's performance, citing "personal issues." Vanessa then danced with Alan Bersten, who was recently eliminated along with Debbie Gibson, instead.
"As you are all aware, I had to leave the show last week to take care of some personal issues," he tweeted. "I take full responsibility for my actions and want to apologize to my partner Vanessa. We are both looking forward to dancing for our fans next week!"
A source told E! News that Maks and Vanessa's strong personalities were clashing during rehearsals, leading to a lot of friction. "Their personalities have completely clashed and they really don't get along off set," our source said, adding it was difficult for the couple to "find middle ground."
DWTS airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.