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Maksim Chmerkovskiy almost a judge on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy attends the 20th Annual Race

Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy attends the 20th Annual Race To Erase MS Galaat the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 3, 2013, in Century City, Calif. Credit: Getty Images / Jason Merritt

JUDGE NOT. Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who returns to "Dancing With the Stars" after a two-season hiatus, says he turned down a show judgeship. "I had that option," he told NBC's "Today." "I can't reveal a lot, but I was offered a judge's position on the show." Returning as a dancer instead "was my decision," he said, adding, "There was a moment when I asked myself, 'Why? Why? Why? You've done enough! Another 10 weeks of routines and stress and pressure?' " Learning he'd be assigned Olympic ice-dancing gold medalist Meryl Davis convinced him, however, that he had a shot at his first win. "I got . . . [Davis] and said, 'OK! That's why!' We'll see what happens. I'm very grateful to the show."

FINALES. The controversial and not particularly well-liked Juan Pablo Galavis chooses between Sacramento hair stylist Clare Crawley and Kansas City nurse Nikki Ferrell on Monday night's finale of "The Bachelor" season 18, at 8 p.m. on ABC . . . Zack Storch was eliminated, leaving Brian Davidson, Jack Hou, Xander Jeanneret and Kayla LaFrance to battle it out Thursday at 10 p.m. on the season finale of TBS' "King of the Nerds."

PREMIERES. Kristen Taekman joins "The Real Housewives of New York City" in the season-six premiere Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Bravo . . . Thursday night at 8 on Fox, Gordon Ramsay is back for a 12th go at "Hell's Kitchen" . . . Then at 10, Mark Wahlberg is executive producer of A&E's new "Breaking Boston," centering on a group of working-class women . . . And opposite it on Discovery, the survival series "Naked and Afraid" also returns for season two.

RECAPS. Isabelle Bianchi was the first model eliminated on season two of "The Face" . . . "American Idol" cut Emily Piriz . . . Brice Johnston was voted off "Survivor" . . . Ashley Bennett quit "Ink Master" . . . Reynolds Engelhart, aka Magnolia Crawford, was cut from "RuPaul's Drag Race" . . . "Under the Gunn" fired Stephanie Ohnmacht . . . and there was no elimination on "Face Off."

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