Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hey everyone!

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

I'll be honest, I wasn't that nervous being one of the last two couples standing there. Hope was really nervous, but I felt like we had a lot of fans and they're really loyal. I was really calm. I just made fun of Hope for being nervous! It was pretty hilarious. I love how she's cool as a cucumber during penalty kicks in the World Cup, but she's sweating bullets standing under a light on a reality show. We're proud and grateful to be here another week. I think Hope has a huge, exciting fan base with young girls, many of whom are athletic and want to be in sports. She feels like she's representing for them on their behalf — they're not one-dimensional, but they're tough, strong, athletic, feminine and sexy.

I've stopped thinking about the results. You can't control them. Was it Kristin's time to go? Probably not. But we've had this type of result before where people who danced better get eliminated and people who didn't dance as well stay. It's the way the show is. There's nothing we can do about it, it's what makes it unpredictable. It's not just a dancing show. It's an interactive show where people vote to keep in their favorite and send others home.

I was very pleased with our cha-cha. I thought Hope did a great job. The judges criticized her for her walk or lack thereof. Could she have done better? Yes, but that's not my complete focus this season. It's not about turning Hope into a dancer, but rather the challenge of proving to people, especially parents, that young girls should not fit into stereotypes. You can be a tomboy and a girly girl. Hope was having a hard time being sexy and feminine, but I think she's now embracing it. The cha-cha was quite revealing and seductive. It's definitely a far cry from what she's known for, but that's what's so great about it — she's proving that you can be both. She's an inspiration for girls everyone. I will admit though, she's not quite sex on a stick yet! Well, she's sex on a stick — in a different way! Just look at her ESPN magazine Body issue cover!

Next week, we have the foxtrot. It's movie theme week. It's funny because we thought we'd get something serious since a lot of famous movie themes are dramatic. But nope! We got Toy Story! We're going to go all out as Woody and Jessie. We're going to fully embrace the characters and do the best we can. Rehearsals are going well. We're traveling again this week, so it's tough. But we're both responsible and just do as much work as we can with the time we have each day regardless of the circumstance. I'm not going to lie. It's really crazy to travel during the show. It takes a lot of energy. When you don't have to travel during the show, you get into the same routine, going to the same rehearsal space every day, dance for six, seven hours, go home and pass out. On the road, you can't have that pleasure. Her schedule has been insane. Her people are on her schedule down to the minute. I give her all the credit because as we all know, the window of a professional athlete is quite small and this is Hope's time to capitalize. This is her only time off because she's goes to Olympic training after this, so she's taking advantage of it. But when we're in the studio, she's all mine.

But traveling means not seeing Sleep every day! He's loving L.A. He just loves people in general. I took him to a dog school and he did not have any of it. He doesn't really socialize with other dogs, other than Teddy's bulldog and my parents' boxer, who are both girls. He's around those two dogs all the time and they're friends, but he doesn't like contact with other dogs. He's like a person in a dog's body. He wasn't shy or uncomfortable. He just looked at everybody, sat in a corner until I picked him up. He's the best. He's also on Twitter now, so follow him at @SirSleep!

If you didn't see it, I was also on H8R this week. Mario Lopez contacted me and I liked the concept. I'm interested in people's opinions. I just like to continue improving myself as a person and listening to other people's opinions about me is a huge part. When I was younger, I was hotheaded and didn't care. Nowadays, I find it interesting because pro dancers have become celebrities. I'm not a celebrity by any stretch of the imagination in my own mind, but I'm realizing that press is covering us more and therefore people form opinions about us like they do Brad and Angelina or Marc and Jennifer. When you don't know someone in person, you form opinions from magazines or TV or movies, and most of the time, those opinions are not true. It's an interesting social experiment. This girl was adamant about hating me and spiting me. It was interesting to hear why and to see if she thought any differently after meeting me. I recommend celebrities do something like this. If anything, it kind of brings us closer to the fans and general people who are watching us. There's so much hatred in the world, which is so unfortunate. We need to be happier.

After the H8R experience, I'm really fortunate and grateful to have fans. We wouldn't be here without fans. My success on the show depends on what I do, but a lot of it has to do with fans' support. I'm truly thankful and appreciative for all of you guys.

That's all for now!

Maks