Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone,

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

What can I say? It was a great week for us. It felt good being on top again. We had a great time. It was interesting to see how Brandy would do going last and being on top already. She came out and did great. Then, immediately after that, we had this crazy marathon and had to change in three minutes. Everybody was yelling, "C'mon, C'mon." We literally lined up with all the couples in, like, 20 seconds. We just had this adrenaline from the tango and went after it. It's unfortunate that all the cameras didn't catch everyone doing their thing and fans only caught bits and pieces at home. There was a lot of jive and swing in ours. I'm not upset people didn't get to see the whole thing, that's how it is and everybody's in the same position. 

As you saw in the package, she felt the pressure to stay on top. She cried, like, four times. I think everybody expresses themselves differently. I realized that when she cries, it's not necessarily my fault. It was good for her and something she needed to do to let her emotions out. I don't want her to bottle everything up. I want her to feel good and to feel confident. Unfortunately, the show is such that you have to do it even when you don't feel confident. When we, the pros, start to push, it's because we know what the end result will be and should be, but the celebrities don't, so they get really frustrated. Everybody expresses it differently. I just felt really bad because she didn't need to beat herself up. She's doing great and she can relax a little, but she's very responsible and focused. We didn't have time to sit down and talk it out after she came back in. I felt like it would be better for her if we didn't say anything. So we just went right back to dancing and she was hitting every mark. We're working hard and are doing our best. We want to do great every week so that there's as much consistency to it as possible and everybody can see that we're not a one-time deal.

Last week was also tough since Audrina and Tony left. It was terribly unfortunate since they have been doing great and I think had a real shot at the final. I'm not just saying that because Tony is my best friend — they were doing well and had one of the best scores of the night. But, you know, as we've seen before, these things happen. You just never know how people are going to vote and how the math all works out. That's why it's important for everyone to vote for their favorites. Don't rely on the judges' scores.

Next week is the 200th episode and it's Icon Week. Everyone has to redo a famous routine of a past couple. We have Gilles and Cheryl's foxtrot. I'm not using the same choreography, but just the style and the idea. It's not about the doing the same steps. What was successful in their routine was Gilles' interpretation, so we have to take that and put a feminine twist to it.

Then we have the group cha-cha. We're on Apolo's team. We're still finishing up the choreography. I'll tell you — we're absolutely exhausted from our first rehearsal. We did it immediately after the show Tuesday. I am wiped this week! I think we're going to have a good time. Jennifer and Kurt are on our team. I think the one advantage that the other team has is that Bristol and Kyle have already done the cha-cha, but I don't think it'll make that much of a difference. It helps, but it's not like they're doing the same routines. We all bring something different and exciting to the table, so now we have to highlight everyone's strengths.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

Maks