Hope you had a great week! Thank you so much for your support and votes this season.
We came up short, but it is what it is. Life goes on. I've been getting lots of questions about why we didn't do Jimmy Kimmel and GMA, and it's not a question for us. People are in charge of that stuff.
One thing I want to emphasize in all of this is that I don't want our fans to feel betrayed, like we're sore losers and we hung our heads down and walked away because we got eliminated. That couldn't be further from the truth. We were very cool and relaxed. We knew we did all that we could.
I'm just really, really proud of what Hope accomplished. I really liked our dances on Monday. There's nothing for us to be ashamed of. It was a long season. At the end of the day, it's one of those things that will go down in history as something. What exactly it is will be up to everyone to decide for themselves. We've gotten positive and negative responses for speaking out, but again, I just want everybody to know that we're definitely not in any way, shape or form sore losers. I tried to do the right thing and stay quiet for a change, and I was called out for smiling! I have no idea what that was about.
Hope didn't mean any malice with her comments Monday. She's a top-level competitor and was understandably frustrated. We didn't speak about it too much. We just allowed ourselves to enjoy Monday to the fullest extent to be relaxed on Tuesday and not give it too much thought. If we were to be called safe, we would've continued working hard and put together four performances.
I know for a fact our fans did all they could. I know that. People stayed up and voted for us the whole night. I'm grateful beyond belief for all that. We definitely felt it. It was exciting to know that so many people supported us in our journey. It was a very, very warm feeling. We didn't get called safe and it was our turn to leave the ballroom. I was trying to make sure Hope left it with no bitterness and no regret, and she didn't.
I think we have a great final three. I've become really close friends with Rob. I think he's peaking at the perfect time. He's a great guy, very easygoing. There's no drama. He's a cool kid. I wish him all the best. I also really, really like Ricki as a person. She and Val are even closer than she and I are. We've been to her house multiple times. I think anybody would be a fool not to root for J.R. given who he represents and how great he is. Everything about him screams Dancing winner. I'm kind of torn. This is the one of those times that I kind of don't envy, I guess, the fans that have to choose who to root for. It's a tough decision. I've been fortunate to have had that much support that I was in the semis for four seasons straight. I consider myself lucky to have such great fans. I just hope I've made them proud.
What's next for me? I have no immediate plans at the moment. I'm not even sure if we're going to be at the finale! Hope had to leave and take care of some personal things she had been putting on hold. I have no idea what's going on. Wednesday was my first day of calmness and normality. I didn't have to set my alarm for the first time in three months and I jumped out of bed at 8:30 going thinking I had something to do, but I didn't! No rehearsals, no interviews, nothing! Sometimes it's hard to let go after a season, but I'm looking forward to some time off.
I don't think I'm planning anything. I think for once I'll let others do the planning. I just want to enjoy my time off. There's been controversy this season with what I say. I feel like I get in trouble because I try to explain myself in detail and it turns out people don't want explanations. Our job as entertainers is to dance and smile and be happy. You open up yourself entirely to the world to be judged. One thing that I feel like I want to do is if I do open myself like this and allow people to judge me is to make sure my conscience is clear as far as saying my piece and making sure I was clear with my message. If after that some people disagree with my message, I have no hard feelings. I want to make sure looking back at this years from now, I was clear, expressive, smiling because I want to be and not smiling because I have to be. We're given a platform to express ourselves, but we're not allowed to express ourselves. What is that about that? It is a business and like any business you have to do certain things to work and I've done it. But I've been myself. Some people send me articles or some people tweet me nasty stuff. It does hurt sometimes, but it is what it is. There's something about being politically correct that I have a problem with. For a while, I couldn't pinpoint why I disagreed with it, but I realized people don't like politicians because we feel like they sometimes represent an idea and not necessarily us and so why would I try to be politically correct? Why would I not try to be me? I just want to make sure whatever I do I do wholeheartedly and I have my best intentions in mind. At the end of the day, looking back, I can sleep well at night knowing that I was honest and true.
As far as next season, I'm not thinking about that at all. I just don't know how far ahead I can plan right now. There were developments before this season that affected my decision. During the season, there were some developments that kept me thinking about what I should do. I'll try to do what's right for my personal future. I'm sorry if that sounds selfish. But I will absolutely take into consideration my fans and what they want. I can say that at this point, I don't plan on taking any seasons off. If I'm not back next season, it wasn't up to me. And if I do change my mind and want to take a break, I'll announce it. That's as much as I can do.
It's been an interesting season and I'm very happy we finished on a high note with positivity between us. I always look forward to having a friendship with my partners after the show, and that's no different with Hope. I can't wait to go to London next summer to support her at the Olympics. I just want to be there in person to see her raise that gold medal. She can do a mean quickstep and Argentine tango, but her and soccer is something else altogether. I can't wait to see her in her element competing at the highest level.
And lastly, of course, I want to give a huge thank you to our fans. Every season, I feel your support more and more. I do this for you. I feel like the army of my fans and supporters may not be gigantic, but it's very strong and is very loyal. I really wouldn't be here without you all.
It's Thanksgiving next week, so I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving with great food, love and lots of time spent with your loved ones. I'm very thankful for my blessings, my life, my family, my friends and of course my fans. I wasn't born in this country, but this country has given so much to me. Never does a second go by that I don't count my blessings. I have a lot to be thankful for and I never take any of it for granted.
So happy Thanksgiving! And one last BIG thank you for all your love and support.