updated 04/05/2011 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/05/2011 AT 3:00 PM ET
Maksim Chmerkovskiy took a tumble during his rumba with Kirstie Alley on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars, but he says he’ll be back in the ballroom to dance next week – as long as they’re not eliminated.
“I’m good. It’s sore. It’s fine. It’s not a pain that’s going to stop me,” the pro dancer told ABC News in an interview Tuesday.
Falling during a routine is something that “never happened before,” Chmerkovskiy says. “If it did I certainly could camouflage it. I guess [my leg] got a Charlie horse. It just gave out.”
After the performance, he Tweeted an apology: “To all the fans…I’m sorry! It will never happen again and I will never ‘fall’! To @kirstiealley You were..FLAWLESS! In more ways than one!”
The incident caused a collective gasp in the ballroom and quickly became the most buzzed-about moment of the night – which makes Chmerkovskiy quite uncomfortable.
“My philosophy is I want to be in the background. I’m the backbone but I want to be in the shadows,” he said. “This being the most talked-about moment kind of takes away from Hines [Ward] and from Petra [Nemcova] doing their phenomenal routines and even from Kirstie, obviously, so that’s why I feel a little awkward with this whole attention on me.”
Ward, a Pittsburg Steeler’s wide receiver, performed a lively samba with his partner Kym Johnson while the supermodel Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin danced a waltz that had the judges singing her praises. Both couples earned the top score of the night, 25 out of 30 points. Chmerkovskiy and Alley scored a solid 21 after recovering from their fall.
Chmerkovskiy still has a sense of humor about the incident, saying, “The person that got scared the most is Teddy Volynets. He’s one of the pro dancers in the DWTS troupe this season. He’s like, ‘Oh crap, I’m the stand-in,’ ” he said. “You’re not taking my spot that easy.”