Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a great week!

First of all, I just want to thank all of our fans for your votes! I honestly did not know how big our support is, so I was admittedly surprised when we were called safe. I did not expect it. When we were told about this dance-off, my first impression was, "Great, I'm gonna be out Week 5!" I want to apologize to our fans. I underestimated you guys! And I never will again! They don't show the vote totals, but I can't even imagine what they were if we managed to avoid the bottom two. I'm very overwhelmed. I was actually thinking we might go home. I thought we would be there against Roshon or someone and we'd be goners. It was just amazing to be called safe and to be called safe so early! I have to thank the producers for that. They could've made us sweat it out, but they didn't.

I am not a fan of the Dance Duel. I do not want to be any part of it ever. Yes, it prevents the possibility of somebody better going home, but what if someone who is "should be in the bottom two" doesn't end up there? What if two front-runners, like Katherine and William, end up in the bottom two? What will the judges do then? Save both of them? I know that it wasn't fun for any of us preparing for it and watching Jaleel and Gavin do it. We prepare the whole week for it and we tried to get it done. Monday nights — you're so emotionally exhausted afterward that it's hard to focus and rehearse for something you might not even end up doing. I saw Gavin and Karina go to rehearsal after Monday's show. They had no choice because they had never done a cha-cha. At least Melissa and I were lucky in that we had already done a cha-cha so it wasn't learning something completely from scratch. Dear fans — apparently there are a lot of you — please know that your votes and support are greatly appreciated and we are beyond touched by it.

I thought Melissa did a great job this week. She's improving little by little and I'm very proud of her. I wish I could answer your questions and explain why we got a lower score after the judges told her it was her best dance yet, but I don't know what's going on in their heads. I don't think Melissa's the best dancer on the show, but she's working very hard and it shows. I want her to know that she's doing an excellent job and I want her to be proud of herself. I'm giving her something that, five years from now, she'll go, "Check it out! I did that!" That's what I want for her.

We have the Viennese waltz this week and the marathon. The Viennese waltz is our main focus, and Melissa's doing well. I think everybody is so tired that we're just gonna see how the marathon goes. We had a little marathon run-through after the results show. If everybody's game, we might do something special. I'm focusing on keeping Melissa happy.

The biggest tell was my dad calling me. He never calls. He's busy as ever. He wakes up at 5:30, out the door at 6, comes home in the wee hours. But he called me and said, "I saw your performance and I don't get the scores. She was great." My dad is very straightforward, there's no sugarcoating. He never compliments someone unless it's deserved. He's a very black-and-white type of person. It's not about, "Oh my God! Have you seen this?" He was like, "Your dance was great. She did great and others weren't." I'm fine with getting 7s as long as we're all judged on the same scale. I would be saying this even if we got the highest scores — everyone should be judged consistently. I'm not obsessing over scores because it's not like you can change them. But you also have to move forward and do your job, which is what we're doing. I'm having fun. Melissa's having fun, and that's what matters.

I am happy and proud to report that our Stamford studio opening went off without a hitch. It is awesome. It's a soft launch, so we're doing a lot of advertising right now, but relying on word of mouth. It's truly our best studio yet. I wish everyone could come see it and experience it. Hopefully we will have one in a town near you soon!

That's all for now. Once again, thank you so much for your support. I really cannot thank you enough; it's such a humbling experience. You think you get used to the show and then something happens like this. Thank you so much!

Maks