Dancing's Maks: Elisabeth Hasselbeck's Comments Were "Unnecessary and Insensitive"
Dancing with the Stars - Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Hope you had a great week!
First, I want to address Elisabeth Hasselbeck's comments about Erin. I've gotten lots of comments on Twitter about it. They were just unnecessary and insensitive, simple as that. I'm the first person to say that everybody has the right to an opinion. I'm clearly one of the most opinionated people, but it's one thing to criticize to somebody's job and it's another to make personal and dangerous attacks. I think in her apology Elisabeth said that it was meant to be a joke. I don't think that's good enough. There are some things you just don't joke about. Something that was so detrimental to Erin and her family for the past year should not be joked about.
We all read her comments together late Tuesday. My first reaction was, "What?!" Then I turned to Erin and she was all teary-eyed. I think that's what did it for me. This season was meant for her to let go, to enjoy herself and have fun after everything she's been through. Just, you know, not be cautious. I don't think people realize how much this girl has to deal with. Every week, I try to make sure she has fun. For Elisabeth to say this now, it's not even like kicking her when she's down. She's not down. She's great and happy. It's like Elisabeth walked by her on the street and kicked her down. It made no sense to bring it up. It was clear that Elisabeth didn't think her comments through. What she said not only rude and insensitive to Erin, but it ended up targeting everyone who's been victimized by that type of activity. And that's just not right. You don't blame the victim.
If her issue were the costumes, then she needs to take it up with me. If anybody hates the way we dress, I can certainly address it because I design them for us. We can go costume by costume. All I'm going to say is that outfits are essential to dancing. If you watch track and field, they wear gear suitable to what they do. They wear tight and short clothes. We don't criticize them for it. They wear them because it makes them aerodynamic so it doesn't cost them a hundredth of a second at the finish line. We have to portray characters and sell the performance. A lot of thought has gone into the costumes. You have to take into account the dance, the song and your partner. Erin is beautiful and I it to owe her to highlight her attributes without making it vulgar or over-explicit. It has to do with the style of dance. If it's a rumba, it has to be sexier. If it's a quickstep, it has to be a ballroom. If it's a samba, it has to be a fun. In our case, we didn't have a typical samba song, so we went a little more fashion-forward. I think it worked. I think every week it worked. We came out dressed accordingly. For someone to point their finger and say that sucked, OK, then you come up with something better. Make a drawing, send it to me and when I see something that should've been Erin's costume, I will tell you. I also don't know how much people know we have to do in the few days we have between shows. All we have is an hour with our costume designer, Randall, to tell him what costume we want. He is certainly qualified to make them himself without our input, but for us pros, it's important for us to consult with him so we can all put our unique spin on them. Who else wore salmon costumes? Bottom line: I don't think any of Erin's outfits have been skimpy and Erin has nothing to do with designing them.
We were in the bottom two. Everyone's asking if I'm shocked or upset since we got good scores. I'm not upset or disappointed. If we were to do a dance we were disappointed with, it's one thing. But we did a great dance that we're proud of. It was nothing to be ashamed of. If we were to be sent home, I wouldn't be upset. I mean, I would be upset we're not in the finale, but I would not be upset given what we did. I'm not going to sit and try to figure out why we ended up there. Maybe we had a smaller fan base. Or maybe, as some have suggested, people thought we would be fine with our scores so they didn't vote. If that's the case, then please, everybody out there vote for your favorite. Never assume your favorite is safe. That's not a plea to vote for us, just a general plea to vote for whoever your favorite is. Honestly, I'm not nervous on Tuesdays because the results are out of my control. We're just standing there waiting for the verdict.
We had a blast with our quickstep. Erin handled the choreography wonderfully and I'm very proud of her. Yes, Len gave us good comments this week, but more importantly, I think all three of them gave better constructive criticism. Like I've said, I just want the judges' comments to be constructive, which I think they were for everyone this week. There was no straight rambling or belitting of anyone. It was very nice to see. I think the competition got stronger and everybody really stepped it up a notch.
I was very happy with our team cha-cha. I think out song was a little more mellow, but everybody was having fun. The quickstep was challenging to think about, so I wanted this to be a little more lighthearted. If anything, Team Madonna remained intact and Team Gaga didn't, so in the end, we feel like we came out on top!
Next week, we have an '80s rumba and the Argentine tango. We did the rumba first and it's looking good. The '80s part is only the costumes — Miami Vice-style. We're working on the Argentine tango now and it's really coming together well. It's always tough when you start doing two individual routines, not only for the celebrity, but the pros as well since you have to decide how to teach them and make sure it's not too overwhelming. Both dances need to be executed to the highest ability. I think Erin will do great.
Pam left, and no one wanted to see her leave. It was very sad. I'm not sure what her injury was, but she just showed up in the morning and couldn't do the encore cha-cha. Some people are saying maybe it's a good thing she was eliminated since she was injured, but I don't think her injury was that serious. If she had stayed, the injury would've been a non-factor. Everybody has minor injuries of some sort and you just push forward. I think when you're in a competition you brush off the pain. I know for a fact at the end of the season, I'm going get sick. Being on the show gets your adrenaline going; it's very high-octane. But I know when the season's over, my body is going to shut down and rest. And you have to let it.
It was a big birthday week here. Chery's birthday was Monday and Erin's was Tuesday, and both celebrations were really cool. We went out after the shows to celebrate. Cheryl's party was such a close-knit gathering. It was really special to see people who were special to Cheryl and to be part of that very small group. Cheryl and I have been through a lot together and we have a very special friendship. On Tuesday, it was very similar. We went out for Erin's birthday with Tony, Cheryl, Erin's sister and our friend Howard. It was exactly what Erin needed to feel part of a family. This season has been very unifying. Three or four weeks ago, everybody's helping each other out. But now we're a group of people who are so friendly. I don't want to imagine starting next week because the five couples left and we're so close to the finale. No one wants to see anybody else leave. We all had tears in our eyes when Pam left. Louis and I looked at each other and were like, "If it's not her, it's us!" Someone has to go every week, and it's definitely going to be tougher to say goodbye now.
And of course, Thursday was Edyta and Tom's birthdays. We went to Tom's party and it was great fun. He was the perfect host — no surprise. Happy birthday to all of them. A lot of Tauruses on Dancing with the Stars!
That's all for now! Thanks for reading!