Dancing with the Stars - Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a great week! First, I want to thank all of you who have supported us this season. We couldn't have gone this far without you and I hope you know Erin and I really appreciate it.

Nicole won, but I think all three finalists were winners in their own ways. It almost seemed like we had a couple different shows within one. Nicole had something to prove. With how much she had to prove, I think coming in second would've been devastating. If I was her fan, I would probably be devastated too. She was amazing the whole season. Evan won because anybody who knows Evan personally would be like, "Aww." He did it for the right reasons. Anybody who has won an Olympic gold medal has invested every second of their lives leading up to that point. Evan did the show with the same kind of determination, work ethic and attitude. This was the first time he had the opportunity to do something he'd never done before and I'm so excited that Evan got to enjoy it and have fun. Erin has won because of the reasons she's done the show. She came in fragile. You never saw it on TV, but she was like a house of cards, hanging by a thread. It takes an incredibly strong individual to realize she needs to give in. She has a ton of critics out there and unreasonable people trying to bring her down, so to go on a show that puts a gigantic spotlight on you with no possibility of escaping until you're eliminated and allow more people to criticize you shows tough and brave she is. The second we had our first dance, we won. Then the next three months, she allowed me to peel off all these layers she's built up and show everyone the beautiful person she is inside.

Through our fights and bickering, she let me take her to the finale and she took me to the finale. I figured myself out a little bit more than before. I'm not going to name names, but I noticed something negative in somebody and my friend said to me: "This is the way you used to be." I was like, "Really?" I feel like I've changed for better this season. I've matured once again. Everybody this season had personal dramas and stuff that they went through, and somehow we became such a close family. When you were about to slip, there was somebody's shoulder to cry on. I think the finale got intense. There was an overwhelming amount of work. That was the only time everybody was doing it for themselves. And I love that too because it shows they take it seriously and is in the competitive spirit of the show. It's important to maintain the show's integrity. All the celebrities got into it.

I'm having withdrawals because of how much fun this season was, how positively produced everything was, the exposure the show showed was real and at the same time was not derogatory. People literally walked away happy. I'm saying it's the best season ever based on what happened behind the scenes. Physically, it was the hardest. The format is so much work. I don't know if it's right to put celebs through so much. But if you truly want to see who truly belongs there, then this is the way to do it, I guess. Having to prepare four dances for the final was obnoxiously difficult. There were moments where we were like, "I don't know if we can do it." We were not upset or complaining. We were just saying what we felt in the moment.

We tied for first place on Monday, which was great. I think if the format was a little bit different, if there was more power for the viewers, maybe the outcome would've been different. Maybe it wouldn't. Who knows? I participated in making somebody's life better and that's my win. I don't need a Mirrorball trophy to tell me I did a good job. I was not upset when we were eliminated, just emotional.

I thought we finished our season on a great note. We had an amazing time doing those final dances. Erin has turned into a dancer. She went into this competition maybe thinking that she could, realized that she can, realized that it wasn't what she thought of before. She experienced the wrath of the judges, the craziness of the red light, making your way out of it and coming back, getting knocked down and turning 6s into 9s and 10s. We did it all — except for doing an encore. But our encore performance was that Argentine tango. It was an encore dance that had the pressure of scores on it. Our ending was to hold the pose and I had been telling Erin to hold it all week, but when it was over, I felt such overwhelming amount of emotion that I couldn't stay there and I threw my arms around her. Our final dance was to "Relax Max," which was perfect! I danced that like it was going to be the final dance of my life. Erin joked afterward that on top of not winning the Mirrorball trophy, we couldn't even win the Top 5 Arguments list! But I guess nothing will ever beat Kate and Tony's!

Our freestyle — yes, it was a risk, but I think it paid off. People will remember that. And at the risk of sounding obnoxious, I will go out and say it's the most memorable freestyle yet. We have no regrets. For the record, the bed we rehearsed on was not a bed — just a crash mat. It was much bigger, much lower and wasn't bouncy. When Erin landed on it, she would stay there. On Sunday, during camera blocking, we ran it twice and the first time, Erin flipped off the bed and landed on the floor because it was so bouncy! It was crazy, so we had to readjust stuff. Then on Monday, there were a bunch of little pillows on the bed, so I ran out before we started and threw them into the audience. It was all kinds of wrong. We didn't need extra stuff on there.

What am I doing this summer? I'm currently trying to figure out what days I have off! This season fortunately turned into a very long adventure. I feel like I haven't rested in five years. I want to relax and chill. I think the only way is to go away somewhere. Usually I like to go away somewhere fun and exciting, but my body can't afford it. I need to go somewhere where there is nothing to do and I can read a couple of books. But that's hard to plan right now. Every week is taken with a trip. I'm going to see Val compete at the British Open. It's a great feeling to watch him do his thing. It's like watching Michael Phelps swim or Roger Federer play tennis. To be part of his journey is quite cool. He and his partner travel a lot for shows, so we're going to spend a bunch of days together, then I go back to Le Reve. I never left. The show's ever-evolving and I'm always helping. I'm also working on my own show, which is going to blow everyone's mind. There's a client that wants a show in a hotel in Vegas and we're working on that. I wrote a script. It is one of the most amazing things I've ever done. I'm very proud of it. It's a long-term project. I'm not a long-term project kind of person, but this one I will dedicate years to. The studios are doing great. We're working on opening up more locations. I want to continue doing this. It's like paying it forward. It's a very profitable business. Everyone who comes in became part of our family. People are excited about it online and in forums. They've never met but become friends. It's an amazing paradox.

Then it'll be September again and Season 11 will start. I will be honest: I want that trophy. I just want to win it one time. Don't get me wrong. I'm honestly walking away from this season with nothing but positive feelings, but who doesn't want to win? I've always wanted instant gratification and I didn't get that this season, and that's OK. Like I said at the finale, walking away with experiences that I've gotten out of the show, the friends, what comes up, that's my trophy this season. It's very rewarding.  

That's all for now. Thanks for reading. Have a great summer!

Maks