Dancing with the Stars - Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a great week!

Well, we made it! Thank you to all of you for your votes and support. It's like a cross between a dream and a nightmare right now. Everything's crazy. On Tuesday, you're relaxed and then you literally have one night to rest, then Wednesday, you have to start over. It's been like that for the past nine weeks, but this is the last time. And the judges were like, "You have four dances." It's like, "OK, then!" At this point, it really doesn't matter. Your body's numb. My mind is clicking and everything else is robotic. But Erin and I are so excited and we're going to go all out.

Honestly, we were worried Tuesday. The finals were on the line and you just don't know what's going to happen. Everyone stepped it up Monday, and Chad has improved a lot. We were hoping for our dancing to speak for itself. And now that we're through, we're going to keep that up and continue to have fun. At this point, we're finally dancing together. It's no longer a teacher-student relationship. We laugh, have fun, and I think it shows in our routines. We're enjoying this time. She's doing exactly what I'm preaching: enjoy your time. It goes by fast. Three months is no joke., and it's hard to believe we're at the end already.

I thought our Viennese waltz was great. The first step, Erin's feet buckled. She was so nervous. I've never seen her this nervous and at the same time this pumped up. The combination of the two had a real weird reaction. The legs weren't there, but she held it together and pulled off a great routine. We both laughed afterward. It was funny how discombobulated she got. The paso was so much fun. I was really upset by the package they showed before we danced. They compiled stuff on a really touchy subject with her parents. I was already on the floor for the dance and she left. I was like, "Oh no." I looked backstage and Erin had tears going down, but she got back up. My mentality went from "Let's prove something to everybody" to "Don't worry about the competition. Just dance for us. Just let your emotions out on the dance floor." And she did it. She tackled that paso like it was the last thing she'll ever do in her life. There are pictures of the first couple seconds of the routine where we jump off the stage and she has this war-hero look on her face, like a superhero going in for the save. It was amazing and the entire dance was incredible. She was totally overpowering me, and that was OK. I usually let out a sound or whatever to get us going, but she just took off in the middle. It was awesome. I loved it. At the end, I didn't slip. We landed at different times and I couldn't save it, and that was it. I just didn't want that to mar everything else she did. The pattern with the judges seems to be they have nothing constructive to say to her, so they would say something negative, and that's not enough. I didn't them to point fingers at her for it because she did nothing wrong, so right away, I said, "It's not her fault; that's my fault." But it doesn't matter whose fault it is because we're a couple and we get one score for the two of us. I just didn't want it put on her. Len didn't like it, but he gave us a 10 for our Argentine tango last week, so now we just have to get 10s at the same time!

I know I've been critical of the judges lately, but I just want to say that I feel like I'm sharing my humble opinion on a subject I know very well. People either read too much into things or don't see what I'm saying. That being said, it's my opinion on dancing as I know it. There are 10 billion ways of dancing and there are going to be 10 billion different approaches. Who's to say that their approach is better or worse than mine or Tony's or Mark's or Dmitry's? I want people to understand that we're all different. Compare all you want, but don't be hurtful. Don't be unreasonable. Until you, yourself, get up and try this, you won't know what you're talking about. If you're standing on the dance floor with your feet completely numb, your knees shattered, your lower back in pain, and then you say that performance sucked, then OK. When all of that is said and done, your opinion becomes a lot different. Now you realize what it all entails. It's been a long and hard season for us and we are so happy and grateful with the final. We are certainly not done. We're going to come out and do our best. God willing we'll have enough support. Maybe we will pull an upset, maybe we won't. We've had so much fun together. I helped Erin through a lot of hard times and she helped me realize something else about myself. I definitely learned another way of teaching. I'm a student; I'm always up to learn about anything — how to educate, how to listen. I may fail at listening sometimes because I'm stubborn, but it is what it is.

We are still a dark horse. Results-wise, Nicole and Evan are both ahead of us if you combine points for the season or average them out. Evan has a humongous fan base and Nicole has an amazing following as well. We're not counting ourselves out, but we're probably the ones who will have the most fun out there because we have no pressure.

We have to do a whole new samba and the freestyle on Monday. On Tuesday, we do a repeat dance — Argentine tango for us — and then one couple is eliminated, and the other two perform the dance-off. Rehearsals are going great. Our bodies are on autopilot right now. Our original samba was where I took my shirt off and Len didn't like that, but now we have to do a new one. Erin wanted to do the Argentine tango again because I guess she liked jumping on me! The freestyle is the dance that can win the competition for you or lost it for you. Everybody's always trying to outdo themselves. I will only tell you that ours will be different from Nicole's and Evan's. They're going for something fast, and we're not — but that doesn't meant we're going slow either. Just tune in and watch.

I'm catching hell for the shot of me in my biography package dancing with a long ponytail! Let me tell you that that was the look back then! Louis had the same ponytail in a package they showed this season. And no, I never got the roller blades back that were stolen from me. It's not about getting them back. There's actually a continuation of that story. Maybe seven or eight years later, I was back in Brooklyn in the same area where we first moved to and where I got jumped. At that point, I was on my way accomplishing dream and I already have my studio and I've achieved a lot of things. I went into a Key Foods supermarket one day and two of the baggers were the twins I distinctly remembered as the leaders of the pack who jumped me. I was very surprised to see them there and they didn't look good at all. After I paid, I gave one of them a $10 tip. They obviously didn't remember me. One was confused and the other had a weird look on his face. To me, it was a chapter closed. It's not that I held a grudge all those years. It was like a rock over my neck. Something was holding me down. Losing those rollerblades was like a loss of my childhood. My childhood and adolescence went by fast. I grew up at 14 overnight. I was beat up, crying, but it turned me into a determined adult. I had to grow up and rise above it. Screw the rollerblades. Everything happens for a reason, but I also believe that you have to make your own way and work hard to make your dreams come true.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

Maks