Dancing's Maks: Celebs Need to Be Nice to Their Partners
Dancing with the Stars - Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Hope you enjoyed the shows this week. What did you think?
It feels great to make it through elimination because now Erin knows everything about the show. We've been through a grueling rehearsal process, the elimination process, the "Oh my God! How come they're not calling us safe?" process, the "I'm about to puke" process, so we've done it all. I'm happy to move on and there's nothing that she doesn't know about now.
I thought our foxtrot was great and she did a great job, given that she was coming off a nervous cha-cha performance. I have to give a lot of credit to Erin because we were the only couple who didn't start our second dance before the show began. All the couples are given the first two dances and songs in the three weeks leading up to the premiere to work on them. By the time the show premieres, couples have nearly both routines down. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I was trying something new this season by not teaching Erin our foxtrot routine until after the first week, so we were the only ones who concentrated on one dance before the premiere. I just showed her basics of the foxtrot, but no choreography. I don't think it makes a difference whether you start the three-day turnaround in Week 1 or Week 2, so our foxtrot was the result of three days of hard work.
Now, we have the waltz and I'm again taking a big risk. It's going to be amazing! I can't wait for everybody to see it! The story aspect is going to be somewhat interesting. Everybody has waltzed before on the show and so far everything's been generic and waltz-y, so we're trying to do something different. Hopefully the outcome will be great. People are definitely going to talk about it! Erin likes it and I love it, so now it's just the execution. It was my idea. When we started, I told her, "Look, I'll be coming up with everything, but if I need your help, I'll be asking for it." She goes, "Yeah, of course." So everything's my idea — costumes, choreography. It sounds like I'm the man, but I'm not really. It's just that she trusts me and it's refreshing. When she comes out and says, "Hey, I want to do something like this, it'll be a plus." Also, I don't want her to be preoccupied with things that she doesn't need to worry about it.
Last time, I talked about Erin having trouble getting into character and exaggerating movements. This week, it's all about acting, so I told her to build upon what we did in the foxtrot because it has to be that much bigger and that much more exaggerated. You'll see why next week! Everybody is either going to absolutely love our waltz or not get what just happened. I'm not concerned with the judges. I know that what we are going to do is going to be technically savvy and the choreography is a very straightforward waltz. It's Week 3 and I think what I need to have Erin do is to come out with a solid performance that doesn't have to be "Oh my God!" The "Oh my God!" is going to be the story.
Len Goodman — Lord have mercy, you are the man! This week, he gets the lifetime achievement for what he said: Celebrities need to show up, keep up and shut up. I think it's the most amazing thing to happen to us. People don't realize that the pressure in its entirety is on us. The real pressure is not on the celebrities. They just have to do the dance. How fast they learn is all them, but everything else — the choreography, the costumes, the interpretation — no one has any idea how freaking hard it is to choreograph a number in four days and teach it to someone who's never danced. Not only do you have to choreograph it, but you have to fight with them to prove that what you want them to do is going to be great. It is crazy! It is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and I keep coming back twice a year because I'm a masochist! I just want to say to all the celebrities to be nice to your partners — obviously you'll have frustrations and disagreements, but just be nice. Your success on the show depends on us. You just have to create a bond, create trust and figure out how to work together. Have fun!
Honestly, I'm one of the most intense trainers out there. The biggest problem celebrities have is that they're coming in blind. They have no idea where this is going. But we, the pros, know what to expect and know what we have to do. I know what's going to happen and I know how well you're going to perform it if you let me educate you to the fullest. He's not the only person who's done this, but when Jake told Chelsie, "I'm not asking you; I'm telling you," it's like, "Excuse me, exactly how much do you know about dance?" Chelsie said no — good for her — and he did what she wanted to do. I'm not going to play up to what you think your strength is; I'm going to play up to what I think your strength is. I want you to do your best and I know what I want to get out of it. I hope everyone got a wake-up call this week with all the fights they showed. I really cannot see who will be stupid enough to get into another fight. The fights don't happen because of the pros. Pros don't want to be mannequins for hire. I'm not your toy. You're the celebrity and I'm a dancer, but it doesn't mean we can be bossed around. We are here too. This is our job too. We know what we're doing. Edyta's been on all 10 seasons! Most of us have been on for a while. I don't want to disrespect the celebrities because I know it's hard for them, but just put your trust in us fully. And we'll return the favor with an amazing performance that you will like. The funny thing is, when they enter, everyone's freaking out. When the season ends, every celebrity is watching their YouTube videos thinking what they could've done better. Every Monday night, Erin or whoever my partner was would come to me and go, "Hey, listen, they said exactly what you said for the past week." I'm like, "I know!"
I thought everyone did a good job this week overall. Chad didn't really show himself this week. He has a lot up his sleeve and I want him to finally get it out. He's a great guy. On Tuesday, he didn't say a word the entire day and when he was called safe, he started talking and running and all that. I was like, "Aww, Chad woke up! Hello, Chad!" It was just nice to see how much it meant to him and how much he wants to be here. I was surprised Shannen was eliminated because she did a great job. I thought she definitely proved herself to be a contender. She had a lot of room to improve. People didn't give her a chance. Mark and his knee will be fine. It's something that has bothered him his entire career. As for Pam, I think that her fans got really comfortable thinking she was safe because she wowed us all.
My dad's birthday is Sunday. He's going to be the big 5-0! Honestly, if this guy looked older than 40, I would have an easier time convincing people that he's my dad. They're going to celebrate back home. Everybody is coming next weekend for U.S. nationals, so we'll celebrate together. The only thing is that my schedule is going to be crazy because I want to go to nationals for a little bit. It's going to be difficult to find time for everything. Val is here in L.A. already for a pro number with Lacey. His partner is also here and they're practicing for nationals.
Val was going to surprise me and bring Sleep. I told him that under no circumstances was he going to put him in a cage in the bottom of the plane with the luggage! So he got the bag that was according to the flight regulation, which was 11x14 inches. The dog has to be able to get up and turn around in there. But Sleep's a big boy now, so he's like 14 inches high! He was trying to shove him in there, but he didn't want to do. So he's home. He's fine and amazing. We miss him. He also doesn't need a girlfriend! Kazyua's well, but I don't think their relationship is going to bloom just yet. They'll see other people first and then figure it out. Then if they're meant for each other... just kidding!
One last thing I want to mention: I got turned on to this product called Dr. Tea's, which is a tea company that specializes in weight loss, energy and well-being drinks. I drink the black tea before I dance for a boost of energy. I use the herbal teas to ease my aches and pains after a long day of rehearsing with Erin. And their craving teas are great too because instead of grabbing some sweet dessert after dinner, I just drink a cup of their Chocolate Cream Pie tea, which is 5 calories instead of a few hundred. Dr Tea's also has a licensed herbalist/mixologist who mixes up special blends of teas for me when I need something specific. It's a really great and healthy product. I'm not passionate about many things, but this is one of them, so I hope you guys can check it out and give it a try and let me know what you think!
That's all for now! Have a great weekend!