Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend. Thank you for all of your comments last week! It was great to see your responses. Honestly, I'm so tired of superficial stuff and I felt like I needed to say what was on my mind and I'm glad I did.

The whole situation reminds me of ESPN or a sports network. They're amazing, but there are so many people that are talking generically. You watch a game and the "analysts" are like: "Well, if the quarterback would throw the ball more accurately, then they would have better success at catching it." OK, really? Thanks for telling me that. This kind of stuff they do a lot and once in a while you get somebody who can actually formulate thoughts and actually talk about things honestly and intellectually that makes you go, "Oh, wow. I didn't think of that." In this case, honestly, I'm not saying anything people don't see based on your comments and reaction, so I guess it took me a little bit to earn some respect from people so now that when I actually say something critical, it's not taken in the wrong way. It's not often I come out like this. I'm known to be outspoken, but I'm also just and smart about it. My whole point was not to draw attention to myself. I just wanted to get that off my chest and hopefully it got some people's attention. We'll see how the judges are this week. Maybe they'll be like, "Well, screw Maks! I want to do what I want to do."

I want to touch on the elimination a little bit more since I only mentioned it briefly last time as I focused more on the judges. The eliminations were upsetting. Michael went home. Did the worse dancer go home? Probably. We're really sad about him going because he started blooming, but the reality was that he wasn't the best dancer. And then you put Aaron and Mark in the dance-off. Aaron's jive was better. Mark's cha-cha was very good. I'm not making excuses, but given Mark's crazy week, it takes a toll. We have to remember they're not dancers. They're not used to being partnered period. To jump back-and-forth between partnerships, we have to adjust sometimes. My hat comes off to him. He did an amazing job. And finally he can rest! If anyone had the craziest season, he did. When he was announced to be in the knockout dance and when the judges had to choose, they reacted the way I thought they would — saying it's undeserving, how amazing Mark is and complaining about it. They've done this before and  it's silly. It's not America's fault he's in the bottom. You gave him a 6 that he didn't deserve. America is going to vote for whoever they want to vote for. It's the judges' job to offer a buffer with fair scores to protect the better dancer and to reflect their skills.

I will give credit where credit is due and the judges did judge fairly in the knockout dance. I love Mark and I'm not going to be a hypocrite, but in the knockout, I would've given to Aaron, just like the judges did based on that dance. It was clean and clear and put-together. The point is putting blinds on and only seeing the dance. In our competitive world, I always tell kids that nobody knows what you go through, nobody knows your background and judges need to judge in the moment. So you could have an amazing story or have the biggest struggle to get to where you are now and someone else could be whatever. But on the day of the performance, what happens on the floor is what is counted and that's exactly what happened.

I was very surprised Aaron was in the bottom three. He came off of having two 10s and to end up in the bottom three, well, there goes the popularity. I don't know who's voting for him, but whoever it is, it's not enough apparently. I have no idea what this means for him the rest of the season. You can say this means he'll be out next, but you just cannot predict that. Kelly Monaco won the first season after being in the bottom two, like, every single week, so you just never know.

This week, there are a bunch of themes for everyone's second dances. I think Donny and Kym have an '80s paso or something. I like certain aspects of this season where we went all out with the production. I enjoy the staged dances, from little things like the lamp post in my Argentine tango with Joanna to the Muppets in Aaron and Karina's quickstep. I applaud our production for helping us out. That makes a huge visual effect. My problem is what happens to the other couples when you do some thing for one. If you produce one dance to the fullest for one couple, is that fair to the other couples? This late, every vote counts and I think that everybody needs to be produced to the same standard or they shouldn't do it for anyone. We'll see what they come up with here as far as production and the choreography go.

I think this week is crucial for Mya. This has to be her comeback. I hate to say it, because I think the trophy should've been hers two weeks ago, but Mya, in my eyes now, is in jeopardy. I am one of the fans of Mya. I've said it since day one. I love her dancing, but this not your everyday dance competition. People are not going to look at her footwork the whole time every show. They want a performance value in her dance. She needs to come out with a very high-octane, energy-packed dance now to wow them and regain her fire. There have been so many dances and this season is very long. People don't remember the stuff from last month; they remember the most recent stuff. She needs to put the attention back on her. Dima needs to strategize. He's teaching her how to dance, but not how to compete. He needs to find the right balance of the two. It doesn't come easily, but he'll learn it. I think Derek strategizes well. I've always said Joanna's one to watch and he's playing to her strengths. If she can't do something, they're not going to do it.

I heard that Mya said Dmitry was sick, but he didn't want to pull out because he didn't want me to dance with her! I think it's funny if she did say that, but this brings us to another issue — health and sick days. I think this season is a little crazy. The body of work has been overwhelming that dances have gotten weak and people started getting sick. When everyone started practicing together for group numbers, that's when people started pulling out. But I don't think it's a good idea for anyone to step in for anyone unless it's extremely, extremely necessary. I mean, I enjoyed my time with Joanna for sure, but I also enjoyed my tango with Debi. But for the celebrity, it's very difficult. When you have the season on the line, you don't want anybody subbing in for anybody and you want to suck it up and do it. I know Lacey was very, very sick, so she literally couldn't do stuff that she was supposed to do. I know Derek was borderline half-dead and couldn't get out of bed. I sincerely hope we won't have another sub-in the rest of the season because it would be extremely unfortunate with the finale coming up.

Everyone's already rehearsing for the finale. On Thursday, Debi and I came in to rehearse our tango. We have a routine with Kathy and Tony and Macy and Jon. Kathy and Tony dance for 30 seconds; Macy and Jon, 20 seconds; and Debi and me, 40 seconds. I need to call production and ask them to add another 10 seconds because I want all the girls to end together. We're dancing to The Isley Brothers' "Who's That Lady?" It's a fun performance. We're doing our same tango routine, but we'll place it differently. Debi's excited to be back in rehearsals. Me? I personally never left rehearsal for the past 25 years! But it's always refreshing when celebrities come back for the finale. They truly miss it. All the celebrities, in they beginning they're like, "I can do it." Then when practice starts, they say, "I can't do it." When they get eliminated, they go, "Crap! I really wanted to do it and go all the way." When they come back to rehearse for the finale, they say, "Yay! I get to do it again!" And a month after it's over, they're reminiscing again! They forget all the aches and pain and all the drama and just remember all the good times. It's nice to see and it shows your experience on the show is something you should take in and enjoy.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading again and cross your fingers that the judges got rid of their insanity bug this week!

Maks