Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a great week. Thanks for voting for us!

I thought our quickstep was a lot of fun. And the kiss was a total surprise! I'm not kidding. We never even talked about doing it in rehearsals. But I think it made sense at the end there. Kirstie's funny. She's a comedienne and she went for it. It was as shocking to me as it was to everyone else. It was funny and fun. I think it shows that we have an amazing relationship and everything's going well. It's a lot of fun to have somebody like her because you never know what to expect. There's a sense of excitement. But what's so great about Kirstie is that she also has the work ethic.

Next week, we have the rumba. It's also personal story week. Kirstie's story is not the happiest of stories. It's a little dramatic, but I think our routine has an amazing ending to it. We're going to try to do her story justice while also maintaining the integrity of the rumba. We didn't go about discussing stories before settling on this one. It was "I have this story and it's pretty amazing." She had told me about it briefly, but I'm one of those people who don't like to pry into personal stuff. But when we were assigned this, she was kind of enough to fill me in. We're not going to act out anything. We're just going to portray the music. We're just going to feel the song and there are few dramatic things.

This week is the first week where we have about five days to turn around a whole dance. And the rumba is not an easy dance to learn. I'm going at Kirstie's pace. I don't want to push anybody to do anything unnatural against their will or against their body. So I'm being as "soft" as I can be. I'm still demanding and still teaching her, but I'm not going crazy. She has to want to do it and I just channel it. If I push her too much, I may break her. In this case, she knows what she wants to get out of it. She knows how to get out of it. I don't need to push her. I just show up, explain the steps, show the steps and we do them over and over.

The show takes its toll on everybody's body. Last week, we had a little issue when Kirstie strained herself. It was a big enough deal to alter the quickstep completely, but of course we had to be more cautious. We didn't have the easiest first dance with the cha-cha. It was really fast. And the quickstep is really fast too. All of that took its toll on her ligaments. She was just sore. It's the same for anybody who goes to the gym and then wakes up the next day sore. So we weren't 100 percent for the quickstep, but we were 100 percent funny.

I'm sorry to see Mike go. He's a funny and cool guy and we're certainly going to miss him. At this point, after all these seasons, we never really know who's going to go. And we don't want to see anybody go. I think he did a good enough job for himself. It was a personal victory. Lacey brought something out of him that I hope he'll take further. I wish him the best.

I want to give a huge shout-out and congratulations to the new Dancing troupe. I thought they did a great job and I'm very proud to say that three of them are my pupils — Ted, Nicole and Kiki. I want all the viewers to support them. They're representative of the future. I'm not saying we current pros are retiring anytime soon, but this is their time to prove themselves. They certainly take a load off of us. It's very strenuous to teach and choreograph your celebrity and to handle the pro numbers. It's almost like we have two seasons in one. I'm certainly happy they're coming in, but it doesn't mean we're going to stop dancing. As my dad says, nobody's irreplaceable, but I want whoever replaces me to continue what I do without being cocky to be worth it. I worked really hard in my career to get where I am at now, so I hope they do too.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!