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If you were someone who thought that “Dancing With The Stars” winners Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis were dating – you were wrong. At least, according to Mark Ballas.

“Max and Meryl aren’t dating either,” Ballas told “Ralphie Tonight” in studio last week. “Here’s the thing, this is what happens: You get sucked in to the performances and the passion and ‘Oh, they almost kissed.’”

You also probably have read (if you enjoy keeping up on such things) that for the better part of this past season, Chmerkovskiy and Davis have played coy when asked about the subject matter. Dare we say they well…. danced around it?

“I think it’s because so that we do what we’re doing right now,” Ballas responded when I brought this up during our conversation about them. “They’re just intelligent. They know how to play the game.”

It is a game that Ballas is well-aware of but is not currently playing. After a season of “DWTS” that ended with a shoulder injury, the artist is now turning his attention to physical therapy and the promotion of his new single, “Get My Name.”

“The day we put it out, it debuted at number 24 on the iTunes Pop Chart,” Ballas recalled proudly of May 5. “I’m doing this all independently; no (record) label. So considering that, I’m really excited.”

The song is a fun pop track – Ballas croons over a bouncy beat infused with a bit of jazz. His “DWTS” cohort Derek Hough directed the song’s music video, a total throwback to the era of the 50’s and 60’s. “Get My Name” is the first single from Ballas’ forthcoming LP.

“This is the first full studio album I’ve done,” the singer said of the project. “I’ve done acoustic EPs and I’ve done acoustic stuff before, which has been a little more stripped back because I hadn’t had the resources or the access to amazing producers in the genre that I wanted to go in to.”

That changed when Ballas signed a music publishing deal with Nashville-based BMG.

“(BMG) put me in the studio with some great producers like Jim Beanz, The Stereotypes, and then the producer that’s done a majority of my record’s name is Wizz Dumb,” Ballas revealed. “He’s Timbaland’s protégé; he works in that camp.”

It certainly makes sense that an artist who has drawn comparisons to Justin Timberlake and opened up for Robin Thicke would be working with someone on Timbaland’s team. But Ballas pulls no punches about the fact that he wants to create his own lane as an artist who can sing, dance, and play guitar. He hopes to educate the masses that he possesses all of those talents with an album release tentatively slated for late summer.

Ballas is also looking to jump on to a tour for a major artist as a supporting act. The singer says that while he is undecided on a return to “Dancing,” he will have four months off regardless.

I stopped by WBRE’s “PA Live!” for my weekly segment, “The Ralphie Report.” This week, I recapped my interview with “Dancing With The Stars” pro Mark Ballas. Also covered: “The Voice” contestant Raquel Castro calls Christina Aguilera, “a very good role model,” and Adele’s manager casts possible doubt on the singer’s 2012 tour plans.

Before The Grammy’s, and before TMZ reported that Mark Ballas’s girlfriend crashed his Audi, the singer, songwriter, and dancer extraordinaire was looking forward to Valentine’s Day.


“I have a Valentine’s date this year, so I’m looking forward to it,” Ballas said, not naming dropping aspiring singer Tiffany Dunn. “I haven’t had a Valentine’s date in a while, so it’s going to be nice to do something.”

Before flying back west, Ballas performed inside Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. The “Dancing With The Stars” pro is in the studio working on the follow-up to HurtLoveBox.

“I’m not sure when it’s going to be out yet, but it’s a lot different to my old stuff,” he noted. “My other two records are just acoustic albums, they’ve been kind of more singer/songwriter. So this next record, we’re going a little more urban/pop with it.”

If Ballas could compare – essentially he’d like to play the guitar like John Mayer, sing like Bruno Mars, and move like Justin Timberlake. Yes, he is taking the project in a much more mainstream direction, but Ballas insists that has nothing to do with the mainstream show he dances on.

“For me, this is what I wanted to do,” he revealed. “When I do my music, I don’t really do it because I think that it’s what should be done, I do it because it’s what I feel.”

As far as “Dancing” goes, season 14 kicks off next month, and one person Ballas feels would be great for the show is legendary actress Betty White.

“I think she would be amazing!” he gushed. “I think if Betty White were to come on, they’d bring my dad (Corky) back for her… it would be great to have my dad back, you know?”

Ballas will continue writing and recording throughout the year, and hopes to drop a single from his new project before 2012’s end. Since her appearance on “DWTS,” he has become close with singer Nicole Scherzinger, and hinted that they may collaborate in the future.

I stopped by WBRE’s “PA Live!” for my weekly segment, “The Ralphie Report.” This week, the topics included the break-up of Pia Toscano and Mark Ballas, along with the announcement that I will be judging this year’s Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant. I’ll also serve as a judge for the Miss Connecticut USA competition.

I will appear every Thursday on “PA Live!” – a new, daily show on WBRE that airs weekdays at 4 p.m. The show is co-hosted by Dave Kuharchik and Monica Madeja.