Zendaya is the "next Beyonce," says Maksim Chmerkovsky, who returned to "Dancing With The Stars" for a special doubles dance with the 16-year-old Disney Channel star and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy, his brother.
The three, along with fellow guest performer and former series regular Anna Trebunskaya, performed the Argentine Tango on the ABC show on Monday and earned 29 out of a possible 30 points -- the highest scores among the remaining nine celebrity contestants and the first 10's of the current 16th season, which began in March (Read a RECAP of "Dancing With The Stars" week 5).
Maksim, who performed regularly on the show between season 2 in 2006 and season 15 in fall 2012, told OTRC.com while standing next to Zendaya and his brother that he thinks they will win the Mirror Ball trophy. The two have never been ranked lower than No. 2 since the season began.
"We've had weird finishes in the past," Maksim told OTRC.com. I'm not going to say the trophy's in the pocket. But if I were betting ... I'm not a gambler but I would bet everything on them. But I'm betting on Zendaya. Just, her future -- her future's phenomenal. Watch this girl, knock on wood, this one over here is going to be on fire. I mean, I see next Beyonce for sure, for sure."
Zendaya, a cast member on the Disney Channel series "Shake It Up!" and a pop singer, and Val had performed a Samba set to Beyonce's song "Love On Top" last week (Read a RECAP of "Dancing With The Stars" week 4).
"I think I'm still trying to absorb it. I mean, that's crazy. It was the hardest week, thus far, I'm just letting everyone know. This was a hard week for me," Zendaya told OTRC.com after Monday's show. "It didn't even come together until what you just saw. It wasn't perfect until now ... but it was fun and I'm very, very, very, very thankful that I had this experience and I'm able to have that."
She also cited her aching feet, saying: "Where are my Jordans?"
"I'm the one that likes to stay in the tennis shoes," she said. "I will stay in my tennis shoes as long as possible until [Val] makes me take them off. It's hard and dancing in heels is not always fun. I can walk on a red carpet in heels but dancing, ehhh, still getting used to that."
Maksim Chmerkovskiy talks "DWTS," "General Hospital."
Maksim himself has never won "Dancing With The Stars." The highest rank he has ever received was second place, which he earned with Mel B from the Spice Girls in 2007 and with Kirstie Alley in 2011. In recent weeks, he has been focusing on other projects -- namely a guest spot on the ABC soap "General Hospital," which stars his former "DWTS partner, Kelly Monaco.
"I never said I left ['Dancing With The Stars']," Maksim told OTRC.com.
When asked if he would return for a guest performance, as many pro dancers on the show do on Tuesday results episodes, he said: "Absolutely, absolutely. Again, my newly-found relationship with 'General Hospital' isn't over. Can't really say much more but if time permits I'm here, I'm available, obviously, for Val and Aendaya, any time."
The remaining nine celebrities and their professional dance partners will return to the ballroom on Tuesday to face possible elimination. The show will also feature performances from Selena Gomez, who will sing her new single "Come & Get It," and country music group The Band Perry, who will perform the song "Better Dig Two."
Be sure to see Zendaya's interview above and be sure to check back after all "Dancing With The Stars" episodes on Monday and Tuesday for post-show interviews with the cast here.