Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your comments again.

First, I want to close the chapter on the judges before getting into the dances. I felt like they were better Monday night and did not have the "insanity bug." I applaud them for sticking to the job requirements and giving some constructive criticism. Bruno is still heavily auditioning for something, but it was a lot better. I'm fine with all the gimmicks if there's a right balance with what they're supposed to do. The only thing that I don't understand is that Carrie Ann has shows where she does not point out one mishap everyone sees and then has shows where she points out the tiniest things that nobody sees, like what she did with Joanna in her paso doble. This is when you feel like she wasn't ready to give a 10. But overall, I thought their marks were OK and their comments were more productive and helpful. The funny thing is, I was backstage with a bunch of people and Carrie Ann comes up to me and goes, "Really, Maks? Really?" There was, like, a 10-second window, where everyone was like, "Whoa!" and I was like, "Yeah, really." And she goes, "I'm just kidding. I know you mean well," and hugs me. I said what I had on my mind. They get it. It's all good. There's no drama or fighting or anything. I think my message came out strongly and people understood it.

Now, the dances. Mya — I'm so happy for her. She was amazing. For some reason, their ballroom numbers can be better, so I'm OK with the 29 for her quickstep. I can't pinpoint exactly what they need to work on in ballroom yet, but I'm going to think about it. The '70s samba was genius. Dmitry's choreography — amazing! Finally, this kid woke up! I know they've been working before on getting the crowd involved. She needed a second wind and got it. It was perfectly put-together and perfectly executed. It was so much fun to watch. It's one of those numbers where you know in the future, it's going to be looked like, "Remember when Mya did that samba?" It's definitely a huge improvement from last week. So congratulations to them. She looked fun, excited and happy. I'm happy Dmitry pulled it out. He had choreographer's block and that's a given. People don't understand how hard it is to do a routine week after week. It's like musicians writing songs every week. It's very demanding. Hopefully this will give Mya a little boost for the rest of the season.

I thought Aaron's foxtrot was boring to watch and the frame was just bad. It wasn't there. It was almost like he was holding onto her and following her. There was no lead or gracefulness. It was very, what we call, "steppy," where there's no flow. Here's a crash course on judging the foxtrot: You have to look on the top of the heads. Their heads have to look like they're gliding on ice and there can't be any abrupt movements up and down or sideways or whatever. When you watch Aaron's foxtrot, it's very hard, stiff and abrupt. It's not flowing. I didn't see much samba in their '90s samba. I'm sorry to sound like Len even if he didn't when he judged it, but this is going back to the inconsistency of the judges. If Len doesn't like that hanky-panky stuff or that hippity-hoppity stuff, that's fine, but Aaron's entire second half was like that. Maybe because it was supposed to be '90s stuff, he got away with it, but my personal opinion is that there was not enough samba. I know it was a hard week for them with Karina being sick and having to learn two dances. I think he got a higher score than he should've for the samba.

Joanna and Derek — they ran around a lot in their quickstep, but routine-wise, I got it. I liked the use of the stage, starting on the end of the room like that and chasing Derek, like, "Oh, you cheeky little boy, you, Derek." Her bottom half wasn't good at all though. Her feet were never together. I think only one judge commented on her feet. Len only talked about them running around, but there was other important stuff he could've criticized her about. The comment was wrong, but the mark was right because of certain flaws in her footwork and the bottom half of inactivity. I didn't understand their choice of dress either. It's not a dig at the costume department or Derek because they're amazing, but Joanna does have that issue with the bottom half in ballroom dances. There's a strategic way of choreographing that seems to work, obviously, in Latin dances, but not in ballroom dancing. I would've put her in a longer skirt with longer feathers or something. I think it they should've gotten three 8s. Their futuristic paso should've gotten a 30, simply because of the entertainment value. You have to remember we don't compete like this with one couple at a time. The only time we dance one at a time is when it's a showcase. In this format, their paso was definitely the dance of the night. From lighting to costumes to choreography, it was a complete package. I have to give Derek props. It was genius. They did robots and it was something she didn't have to struggle with as far as hip action, steps, etc. It had the element of excitement without hiding someone's weak points. I was worried people would shy away from what the dance was supposed to be and therefore Len wouldn't be happy, but they had a lot of content. It had a lot of paso and it was just great. A lot of people feel like I'm Joanna's biggest fan, but I'm not. I'm fair to everyone. I just feel like when she came in, she was one of the most discombobulated people and now among the people who are left, she and Kelly are among the most improved. That's the reason why I'm supportive of them.

Kelly's foxtrot was gorgeous. Her arms and legs were very well-placed. I can live with her score. I was impressed. You have to understand that at this point, the celebrities are exhausted. You saw that in the packages. For them to keep finding it in them to do another two dances and to perform them, it's very admirable. She seems like the fragile one who can go any time, but she sticks it out and keeps proving people like me wrong. I don't want to see her go. She's a very sweet person and definitely refreshing on set. To me, she's the kind of performer where you're like, "OK, let's cross our fingers for Kelly." Then when she's done, you're like, "Oh my God, she was amazing!" Her foxtrot should've gotten three 9s. As for her '60s jive, the beginning was a bit weird on the stage before they got to the floor. You could see she got lost for a second. She finished strong and I liked the whole thing with the doll given their song. Now, they need to stick it out for two more weeks and then it's over. I just want her to hear me say that she's gone 13 weeks and she can go two more. Do it and don't crumble.

Donny's Viennese waltz was beautiful. Donny's very even-keeled. He comes in every week, does the same thing, doesn't get all the way to the top, but that's OK. He's doing what he needs to do. I can't wait until the finale because I can't wait to see Donny do freestyle. I feel like that's his strong suit when all the rules are out the window. I think he'll be in the final. I'm not even judging him right now because he does enough, shows up every week and is strong enough. I'm not worried about him. I loved their '80s paso. It was hilarious when he ran out and she runs up and they with the wind machine. He was very active in the '80s so he knew what to do. Like, I was 4 in the 80s, so I wouldn't know what to do if you gave me that. It's easier for people who've experienced the era to bring it back. I wasn't even in born in the '70s, so for me, I would've had to watch a tape. I think he was underscored and now he's tied with Aaron. He was better than Aaron and I don't want to see Donny in any kind of jeopardy, but I can live with the score.

The results show should be interesting. I'm not going to predict who will go. You just can't predict these things. It is curious to me that Aaron, who's a better dancer, with a large fan base from his and his brother's careers, with high scores, has been in jeopardy. But like I've said before, you never know what's going to happen.

I'm going to dance during the Michael Buble number on the results show too. I'm not sure if it's going to be pre-taped or not, but I'm going to go there, do my thing and then I'll probably leave. But keep an eye out for the performance!

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!

Maks