Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone!

Sorry for being MIA the past week! It has been really busy with rehearsals, especially with the semifinals.

I hope you enjoyed the show last night. I honestly think we've done all we could to make the finals and it's time to let the chips fall where they may. Kirstie did a wonderful job last night. I don't think anybody expected there to be three dances. I really think the only way the celebrities are able to handle the workload is because they're in a trance at this point. They're on an autopilot at this point. It doesn't matter — three, five, 17 dances. You've got to give it to them. I've had my share of my partners. I'm so proud of Kirstie. She's the least likely candidate to survive, so to speak, and she has! She's not just surviving. She's also showing improvement, resilience, determination. And she's really coming out of her shell. We're not just doing some filler stuff. She's dancing tough, tough routines.

I honestly am a little bittersweet about the Winner Takes All Cha-Cha. Just to be clear, no one had "one commercial break" to come up with a routine. We did the same cha-cha piece from the team dance. I understand the point of it, but sitting here and thinking about it, I'm a little upset for Brandy. We've been in this situation last season. Had we had that, I don't know, maybe we would've been in the finale. But I just want to be happy. I'm just focused on this year. I did call Brandy and told her about it. I don't know what to think about it. At the moment, I'm completely engulfed in everything Kirstie. This show is passing me by. We have one more week hopefully. I'm trying not to lose momentum. It's been the hardest season I've ever done.

I thought everyone did great last night, especially Hines and Kym. You never want to see anyone have an injury. To see Hines fall on her completely — thank God that she's limber enough to have gotten away with just a neck sprain and a little tension in her muscles. It could've potentially really bad. It looked really bad. It's not something you want to see. We were across the hall when it happened. I wanted to make sure she wasn't doing anything stupid afterward. Cheryl was great enough to come in to rehearse with Hines for a couple of days while Kym was recovering. I'm a little upset they didn't show that. We have each other's backs. I'm happy that everything is OK. They went out and they did their thing.

We're not thinking ahead to the finals. We're focused on the now. That's all that I can ask for. Kirstie's been a trooper. It's been very difficult for her. This experience has been something she's probably never going to forget. It's definitely one of the hardest things she's ever done, one of the most physically demanding things she's ever done. She didn't get a teacher who would back off if she were tired. I was pushing. Everybody walks out all the time, so what they showed in the package wasn't any different from anyone else's rehearsals. If anybody was a fly on the wall in our rehearsal studio, it's like, "Oh, OK." There's always someone crying, someone taking a break in the hall. Call me mean, call me whatever you want to call me, but I try to get things done. My job is not to take it easy. My job is to come out with a finished product from my partner that's worthy of accolades. I'm trying to give her a chance to prove herself.

Looking back, five years from now, when you may know me better or have figured me out, you'll say "Hey, he's actually a very nice guy." I'll be looking back and going, 'When people were saying how difficult I am, I did what I had to do and got my partners to dance to the best of their ability in times when they didn't think they could." I never gave in. I've had packages that portrayed me in a derogatory way. But that hasn't changed me or my teaching method at all. I've pursued a goal for my partner.

This season kept changing and changing — changes in attitude, body type, body shape. I think Kirstie is undergoing a life transformation. I'm really excited because that's what the show's all about. It has to be judged by dancing and I don't want to be that guy who has Kirstie Alley and wants to depend on the vote. I don't rely on it. I work out every day. I make her work for those votes. I make sure that she doesn't get the pity vote. She doesn't want the pity vote either. They love how far she's come. I'm extremely proud of her accomplishments. I'm her biggest fan.

Making the finals would mean validation. It would mean validation for the effort that she put in. It was a very, very difficult season. We haven't shown most of it. We didn't want to be the clichéd older celebrity with difficult issues. We didn't address the spasms or the injuries or the numbness. We just stayed true to what the show is and tried to be entertaining. If we bring a little bit of a smile onto a fan's face, we're good. If there's one thing I would change, I would take back the fall and the shoe. In those cases, we didn't give the fans what they asked for. That's my thing. I'm a little hard-headed about these types of things. You can't get perfection, but you can always try.

Regardless of if we're in the final or not, I really do appreciate everybody's support. Honestly, I was watching some old videos. I thought it was phenomenal how far I've come. I'm not patting myself on the back or anything, but I'm my biggest critic. To the supporters, I love you. To the haters, there is nothing you can say to me that can make me upset because I'm my own biggest hater. I've trained myself to be so self-critical that I've pushed myself harder than anyone else has. You can say the meanest, most insensitive thing to me, but I won't crumble. Why? You cannot touch me. I've dealt with critics my entire career. There's nothing you can say to me to make me stop. It's been a phenomenal experience to be on this show. I don't have a Mirrorball, but I do have 10 Mirrorballs — one for every partner I've danced with. I don't regret anything. I'm not upset about any crazy eliminations or come-close moments. It is what it is in an amazing way. I have an amazing life, amazing friends, amazing family, amazing extended family and an amazing partner this season.

One last thing: My jewelry line will be available on Amazon.com and Endless.com starting June 1. We're going to let it marinate a little bit on the websites. We have buyers who have purchased the entire line. They have many stores around the country. There's going to be a big launch party for Grand Dance Sport Cup in October. We'll keep you updated. I will make sure everybody finds out, Twitter-wise!

That's all for now! Thanks for reading and for voting!

Maks