Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone!

Hope you're well! Thanks for voting for us!

Hope and I are so excited to be in the semifinals. I know a lot of people didn't see this happening a few weeks ago, but we've persevered and it's because of you guys that we're here. Just like any other couple, Hope and I have had our ups and downs. Yet through our discrepancies I feel that we've only gotten stronger. Working past our differences has allowed Hope and me to respect and appreciate each other on a very high level. I don't regret anything that has happened this year.

Right now, I'm only focused on Hope and trying to come up with great routines for her. I don't want to think about anything else. The more I notice outside elements, the more I become engulfed in the drama. The show wanted to bring up the Len situation again this week, but I'm not going to waste my energy getting involved with that. It was a misunderstanding and it's over. We've moved on. My next two weeks are dedicated to Hope. I'm going back to my roots and doing what I do best: teaching others.

On that note, I also want to put an end to this stupid rumor that Derek and I are in a "war." First, it was that I "dissed" him and now there's a war? There is no war! Derek is a great and very talented guy; and to suggest that we're in a feud is hilarious. On top of that, the tabloid was quoting a "source." Until magazines start to actually quote the people they're writing about or at the very least reach out for a comment, don't believe what you read. Look, I understand this is how they sell issues and get everyone to click on links and stuff, but this type of rumor-fueling reporting is irresponsible to the people in the articles, their readers and themselves. I don't even want to remotely think about this anymore, so this will be the last comment about it.

We're in a very interesting position now with three dances. We have the Argentine tango, the paso doble and then a cha-cha relay. We have done the paso and the cha-cha, so that helps a little bit. But honestly, they might as well be brand new dances. It's a shock to not just the celebrities, but the pros too. At this stage of the game, we're all exhausted. This is when our bodies start shutting down and we get sick, so to have three dances, it's very, very tough. I know they want more content because they want a longer broadcast, but this is the last thing any of us needs. You would have a better show if it was shorter with few dances. It's about quality, not quantity, right? I think they have three dances because they want to showcase the skills everyone's accumulated during the season. But when you throw in more dances, you don't have the opportunity to show off better dancing. It becomes more about surviving instead. The celebrities have never done anything like this before and it's a huge ask on their minds and bodies. But I'm not the one calling the shots here.

I hope everyone saw Sleep's cameo on Monday's show! Sleep is the man. He's a TV star now! He's having a blast here in L.A. I've been bringing him to my friend's dog place, so he's got celebrity dog friends he's chilling with. He's kind of in his own spotlight. I can picture the other dogs saying, "You're that guy from..." If he could talk, he'd definitely have something to say! He's having a lot of fun and I love having him out here. Coming home and seeing his face — there's nothing like it.

Everything else is going great. I know I sound like a broken record, but I really want to thank the fans again for your support and your votes. It's a huge responsibility for us to know that when you're called safe, it's because someone stayed up all night to keep voting and voting. I feel responsible to do my best. If I'm too intense for people or outspoken, it's because I feel a huge load of responsibility on myself to give everyone something worth voting for. It's a phenomenal realization to know that you're affecting someone's life so much that they're giving that much time to us. Time is the most precious thing we have, so we're very grateful to everyone for being behind us.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

Maks