Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a great week. Thanks for your comments about the Michael Jackson dance! I had a blast doing it. To do it in front of his mother and most of his family was the most amazing thing I could've ever done in my life. I've gotten to do so many things in the past five years that would make me say, "I can die right now and I'm good to go," and then something else comes up and something else comes up. It's quite incredible.

The performance was pre-taped because it was such a big production and the whole cast was involved. We taped it about 15 minutes before we went live and we did it twice. The first time we did it, everybody was a little nervous, but it was excellent. The second time, it was like, "Guys, we'll do it again. Let's bring it up notch." And everybody just messed everything up! So we went with the first one!

I'm very proud of our middle section and everyone who was in it. I loved the little MJ kick we did. It was really cool. Everything came together. I think we were able to include pretty much every ballroom-related dance style in that middle section. The last one was "Thriller" and you don't reinvent the wheel of something like that. Lacey asked me what I wanted her to do and I said, "Lacey, I want you to do what nobody in this cast can other than you." So she went off with her modern take. I think it was very cool. Every element was going into another element with Tony to Dmitry and Lacey going into her and Tony doing the theatrical arts-type of stuff. I think Edyta and I just kind of came out and went off without a problem. I loved our section on the stage. I thought it was beautiful. We did a little bit of rumba. It was excellent. Michael Jackson was one of a kind for sure. There will never be another — in our lifetime at least. I'm sure when Elvis died, people were saying the same thing, and MJ's my generation's Elvis, for sure.

I was so sad Natalie left. It was so not fair. But it's a popularity contest. We need to continuously rally for votes otherwise people get comfortable. She's never even been close to the bottom two, was a high scorer and everything else. People are like, "Oh, she'll be safe." Next thing you know — bam! She's out. Vote for your favorite! Don't wait until the last second. Natalie's an amazing athlete. She did on the show what athletes do: They train and that's it. They're not into the drama or anything. They focus on what's important and what's important for them is to be prepared. It was very hard to see her go. I was nervous Joanna would be in the bottom two because I certainly didn't want to get eliminated twice in one season. That would've been some kind of record! When they said she was in jeopardy, that's nothing. It's just a nail-biting situation, but the bottom two would suck and being eliminated would suck very much and that luckily didn't happen for her.

The public has its favorites. That's very obvious. That's been the case through all the seasons. I think that it's very clear that Donny's not going anywhere and it's clear that Michael Irvin has the fans to stick around too. If he keeps doing a little bit of what he did in his Paso Doble, that would get him through and the audience will back him. Mya's clearly a great dancer and we'll see how that goes with her fans backing her up. The judges' job is to say "Hey, what are you guys doing? Oh my God! Natalie's going home!" But that's the show. I've gone home early. I've certainly lost with at least one person who shouldn't have lost. That's my opinion, but the public decided otherwise and what are you supposed to do?

Double eliminations start this week. The way it's going to work is that the couple who scores the least is going home right away. Then the second and third from the bottom are going to dance off. The judges decide who's the better dancer and will eliminate the couple based on only that knockout dance, so the pressure's on the judges. They may not like somebody, but if they danced better, they're going to have to keep them in. It'll protect the bottom two couples from going home. If Michael Irvin ends up in the bottom three, I think he's going home.

On top of preparing a knockout dance, everyone has their main dance and the mambo group number. It's insane. This season is one of the hardest things ever. I think it will be re-thought during the off-season. I can't wait for that re-thinking process to begin because it's been really hard for everyone. At some point you have to say that's not working.

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with this week. Joanna and Derek have the waltz, which I think is good for them. They've had a lot of energetic and emotional dances in the past few weeks, so it'll be nice to see them tone it down. Mark had a great performance last week and really came out of his shell. I think as long as Lacey challenges him like that, he should put up another good dance.

I will dance on the results show during Taylor Swift's performance, so keep an eye out. I didn't spend a lot of time in L.A. this week as I went home to spend some time with my family and friends, which was great! That meant I couldn't help out some people with their routines. Louie was so bummed. I love him. What a great kid! He was so cute. He said to me last week, "See you tomorrow!" I told him I was going home, so he asked when I was coming back. I said Monday night and he goes, "Aw, man!" He's been texting me questions. He'll be fine. Sometimes you have to let them spread their wings and fly!

That's all for now. Thanks again for your comments and support!

Maks