The Real Reason Tony Dovolani Left Dancing With The Stars

There have been many "Dancing With the Stars" professionals who have managed to shimmy their way into the viewer's hearts over the years. The show has been running for 16 years and has amassed quite the cult following, per IMDb. When a show combines watching your celebrities fumble through hacking a talent as tricky as dancing with watching professional dancers show off their skills, it's guaranteed to be a huge success. 


Everyone has their own personal favorite professional dancer they love or love to hate. Tony Dovolani was one of the most popular "DWTS" pros in the show's history. He even danced his way to claim a Mirrorball Trophy, per People.

Just like other pro dancers who got their start on the show, including siblings Julianne and Derek Hough, Dovolani's time as a pro eventually came to an end. Dovolani decided to take a bow and end his time on "Dancing With the Stars" after a 20-season tenure by leaving the show after Season 22 (via Us Weekly). But was there more behind his decision to quit the show?

Dovolani was tired of 'babysitting' celebrities

After Season 22, Tony Dovolani announced that he would be leaving the show as a professional dancer (via Hollywood Life). Dovolani told the outlet's podcast, "When I decided to quit nothing major happened, it was just a build-up of things where I just said, 'I didn't sign up for this.' For babysitting, maybe, a little bit. Some of these celebrities, or reality celebrities, I should say, they sometimes ... they have an idea of what they think they are and who they are, and they didn't realize that I wasn't there to deal with them. I was there to teach them how to dance. So, when it becomes about other than teaching them how to dance, I want no part of it."


When dance pros and celebrities are paired to train and compete in "DWTS," the contestants wave goodbye to any free time and privacy, as the couples are literally in each other's face for hours on end. So, some fighting is expected. What's unexpected, however, is the amount of "babysitting" that comes with working with celebs.

During Season 10 when it came time for Tony Dovolani to be paired up with Kate Gosselin, she almost pushed the dancer over the edge with her raging attitude.

Gosselin's attitude was a prime example of why Dovolani chose to leave

It's no big secret that there have been some mismatched "Dancing With the Stars" partners. Heavy previously reported the butting of heads between Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who was known to fight with several of his partners, and how much "The O.C." actor Mischa Barton disliked working with Artem Chigvintsev. The big personalities of professional dancers that do this for a living and of celebrities that have no idea what they're doing have a tendency to clash. When it came to not getting along with celebrity dance partners, Dovolani was no exception.


Unfortunately, the thorn in Dovolani's side came in the form of reality TV personality Kate Gosselin. Gosselin was known to be divisive. After witnessing her parenting methods on the hit TLC show "Jon & Kate Plus 8," plenty of fans enjoyed her chaotic energy. However, others found her less entertaining, such as her ex-publicist Joey Skladany, who shared how "awful" of a person Gosselin reportedly was to work for (via Radar Online). Skladany explained, "Everyone warned me that she was difficult — and I said, 'No. I'll compliment her.'"

If only Dovolani heeded the warning. The pair clashed repeatedly due to her constant whining, and she pushed him to remove his mic pack and threaten to leave the show, exclaiming, "I'm done, I'm done today. I quit!" (via Us Weekly).


Would Dovolani ever return to the show?

"Dancing With The Stars" professional dancers are hired for a reason. They're successful in the dancing arena, and their success is usually only further amplified by the show. After Tony Dovolani's departure from the show following Season 22, he has become an international dance director and continues dancing at Fred Astaire Dance Studios (via Us Weekly). Dovolani and his wife, Lina Dovolani, now have a daughter named Luana and twins Adrian and Ariana. 


Speaking exclusively to Closer Weekly, Dovolani shared that he isn't entirely opposed to returning to the show, saying, "That door will never close for me because 'DWTS' has meant so much to me and my family in general — but now that, [I don't think there's a] spring show, and if they do it once a year it might be a possibility." The dancer added, "For me, it was very difficult having three kids, for me to be away six months a year. If that ends up happening, and they are interested in me going back, I would be more than happy to do it."

Viewers will hang on to hope that he'll make his return to the "DWTS" stage again sometime soon!