Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone!

Hope you all enjoyed the premiere! What'd you think?

I thought our dance was great. It felt great. I think we carried out our plan: We came out strong, but are not the front-runner. I told Brandy that I don't want the pressure of having to be the best right away. We made our statement and we can continue to grow from there. Brandy did an amazing job. She actually messed up a little and I was petrified because I thought she might spin out, but she didn't. She totally saved it and not even the judges saw anything. I am ecstatic more about the fact that she messed up and didn't fumble.

I know some people are saying already that Brandy "has an edge" or "has experience." Listen, I don't care. People are going to say what they're going to say. We just have to go out there and do our best. Was Brandy good Monday? Yes. Was she perfect? No. I feel like there's never going to be anybody who does amazingly the first performance who's never had any training before. Brandy, even though she's never danced, I'm banking on her stage presence. I just need that ability to perform from her. You want to call it dance experience. Fine. This was my pep talk to Brandy before we went onstage: "You need to dance like you dance in rehearsals, wearing sweats and no makeup, no glitter." Why? Because your best level is usually achieved in rehearsals. On the day of, you have negative emotions and positive emotions, both of which pull you away from achieving your optimal performance. That's why we always say that you're never going to be as good as you are in practice.

Next week, we have the jive. It's going to be a good dance for Brandy if we survive! We've been practicing like crazy. It's not super crazy choreography; it's just non-stop from go. I think I just want to dance it through. I don't want to figure out a way to make it something that it's not. Right now, we're surviving the jive. By Monday, she's going to be able to do it. Your muscles get used to certain things.

I thought everybody did great. There's more competition this year. We had a couple seasons where you go, "There's no way this person has never danced." This year is what dancing should be — people with no dance experience learning something new. I thought Kyle did amazingly for jumping out like that. People were like "What the hell just happened?" He's a bundle of energy, and he and Lacey make a great pair. Rick Fox was incredible! His posture was very good. I'm excited to see the opposite dance style this week. He has the jive. I'm definitely excited to see Kyle in quickstep. He needs to package it in a certain way. We did great in the ratings and I think the producers are happy. I heard that they were distraught that David left. But it is the way it is. I didn't expect it either because he's one of the bigger names and has a lot of fans. I think it was a big wake-up call for everyone. I don't think he was the worst and we're sad to see him go.

I thought Audrina did great. She had some trouble getting on beat in the beginning, which was unfortunate. Since they were the first couple of the season, the crowd was very excited and went insane after they were announced. They were so loud that she couldn't hear the first notes — not good since she started with a solo, which was ballsy and showed her confidence. Unfortunately, she couldn't hear the beats from the orchestra. Luckily, she and Tony were able to recover, but I think she definitely would've gotten a better score if not for that. I told Tony that next time, he should start her off closer to the orchestra so she could hear the beats.

I don't think we can adequately judge The Situation yet. He says he only rehearsed for five days. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Everybody's got a story and his story this week was the short rehearsal time. But next week, everyone will be on an even playing field with only one week to rehearse in between dances, so we'll if he can step it up.

As for the judges, I thought they were OK. I just don't understand Carrie Ann's fascination with me and the number 7! I don't want to say anything against Erin, but it was 7 after 7 after 7. I was trying to improve every week. Now, I'm not criticizing judges, but I don't understand what she said to Brandy that would make her deduct three points. I thought it was an 8 performance. She said her arms were too hard. I told Brandy beforehand to be gentle with them, and when she said that, I said, "I get it." When she gave a 7, I didn't get it. I have absolutely no idea how the judges judge. I have no clue. Some people say they're judging from rehearsal. I don't think so. There were rumors of them being scripted, but you can't really script Len. I've always said: "Let me be the naïve one." It will make me sleep better. That's their opinion. I just don't understand Carrie Ann's opinion. I'm OK with the judges. I just want them to be consistent and not to reward mediocrity.

The Lupus event I went to Wednesday was amazing. Tony, Derek and Brandy came. I really appreciated that she attended something that was important to me. It was great for Dennis. His mother's spirit was around. It was a wonderful night to know you're part of something that makes somebody else happy. Yes, we had an ab-off. The old man showed up! It was very good. All joke aside, we're keeping him young. I believe you are who your friends are. I keep him on his toes. I think we both totally help each other out. He's the responsible one who sometimes gives me the older brother slap on the back of the head, but then there are moments when I'm the voice of reason. We're very close and have a lot of fun together. If we can both make it to the finals this year, I don't know if there's anything better than that.

That's all for now. Thanks for your votes!