Dancing with the Stars - Maksim Chmerkovskiy
I hope you enjoyed the show this week. What did you think of the two-score format?
I thought it was a good idea. In the end, it doesn't really matter out if your score is out of 30 or 60 — you can think of it like combining two weeks of scores without an elimination. But if they're going to bring it back, the judges need to be a little bit more constructive in their criticism. They got it wrong in many couples' cases this week. Backstage, everyone was like, "Why are you marking everybody so low?" Then all of the sudden some couples got higher scores than what we expected. I don't know how they were judging with the separate scores.
We can only examine ourselves the best, and honestly, I am confused why we got straight 6s on technique. Listen, I can take criticism — just tell me exactly what it is you have an issue with. I had no idea what we were going to get with the two scores. I even told Erin that. I wasn't upset with the scores, but I was confused. We had a little mishap, but that shouldn't lead to a nearly 50 percent drop in the scores, especially when they didn't even comment that much on our technique. Len talked about Erin's heels a little, but that's it. Bruno and Carrie Ann kept talking about Erin coming out of character. OK, but that's performance, so why did we get a higher score for performance? Carrie Ann again commented on the death grip. But enough with the death grip! I don't think a death grip is worth a four-point deduction. Plus, in dancing, technique is largely about footwork. That's not to say you can slack off with the upper body, obviously, but technicality with dance starts at the bottom and goes up. You can stand in a pretty frame, but movement starts with the footwork and you're nothing without the footwork. So that was just confusing. If they want to give us a 6, fine. Just give us a reason too.
Afterward, I told Erin that we have to stay positive and stay funny. The beautiful thing is that the viewers pulled us out. I'm very grateful for that. I always tell Erin that every Wednesday, we start from zero. I think we had a good dance. We're still figuring out how to make our performance as good as our rehearsals. Our dress rehearsal was great, but the live show is a whole different ballgame. We also had to go first, so that could have affected her performance. The thing about the performance scores in this case is that the performance aspect is polar opposite when it comes to the rumba with the tango. Rumba is not so much about steps than it is about attitude, whereas the tango is more about steps since you are in the frame. You have less to act out. Also, the song we had was very long and the steps were very staccato. It was a lot to do in hold, so I'm proud of Erin.
Next week, we're going to do the jive to Pulp Fiction — but we're not recreating anything from the movie. I have a different idea. The mood is going to be good. I'm doing something different with the way the song is played. We've only had one practice so far, but everything is looking good. We're feeling relaxed. I think it will be fun. It's refreshing to stop doing the hold a little bit and step away from so many strict rules. I give Erin a little more freedom and a lot of stuff to do on her own. I have a lot more experience in Latin as well, so I see things that don't work and adapt to certain difficulties that she might have. Her back is fine. She's a trooper. I felt like it was necessary for her to see the doctor as a preventive measure. It took a lot of convincing! She was like, "Football players just pop their shoulders back in and get on the field." I was like, "That's not the same! What we do is about finesse. We don't tackle anyone. You need your body to be healthy." So she's doing well and is treating it. It's less contused now!
It was sad to see Aiden go. I don't think he was the worst dancer on the show, but that's the beauty of the show. It's the public's call. He did really enjoy himself and was one of the ones that really wanted to do well. You could sense it whenever you saw him. He had a great time with Edyta. But what man wouldn't? When it came down to him and Niecy as the remaining two, I wasn't that surprised that he was eliminated. Niecy's been a great addition to the show and I think a lot of people are taken with her. She's a lot of fun. They weren't the bottom two couples. I have no clue who was the other bottom two couple; I honestly with I knew. The producers don't even know until right before. I know there's a lot of chatter about the results being rigged and stuff like that, but they are legit. There are votes involved and everyone takes the show seriously. I think it's easy to be cynical and complain and be accusatory when things don't go the way you wanted or the worst dancer or the person you wanted to leave wasn't eliminated. But everyone feels a different way everyone gets to vote, and the votes are counted.
Is Kate a great dancer? No. She knows it. But she has the votes, so she stays. I think I'm going to put "Kate Gosselin" on the end of every sentence after what happened with last week's entry! Kate did much better this week. The scores didn't really reflect that per se, but it was definitely a better performance. She's very foot heavy still, but there were more instances where you could tell she was enjoying herself. I'm hoping to see more of that. Her facial expressions were a little more relaxed. By facial expression, I don't mean in a real-life way. Like I've said before, success is 50 percent technique and 50 percent presentation. She has to present the mood and the character. If the mood changes and she enjoys herself more and more, she will get better. The most important thing was that her attitude was not defensive. I think the worst thing celebrities can do on the show is get defensive. Nobody is criticizing them personally or judging their lives. The judges are looking at the dance. That's when the problem comes. They're not criticizing you as a person; they're criticizing your dancing in that particular performance for that week. Nothing has been said about your future performances. It's just something you can build off of. People need to understand that. There's no point for tears or dramatic reactions. Be disappointed, but just take a few seconds to breathe in and out and move on.
On the other side, I feel like Nicole is putting so much pressure on herself. She wants to be perfect. She's entering the Donny territory of taking it too seriously. It's Week 4 and we have six more weeks. It's not over yet. She needs to enjoy herself. She can't let a 50/60 bring her down — which is not terrible at all. Maybe she wouldn't be happy with anything but a 60, but you can't be perfect all the time. Everybody has different reactions and everybody comes from different backgrounds, but again, just relax and enjoy yourself. I just don't want her to lose the crowd. At the end of the day, you have three people judging and millions voting. Whose opinion do you value more? It's a TV show. She needs the votes and the fans.
I've been getting a lot of comments on the pictures of me as a kid. Honestly, I didn't even know which ones were going to be shown! They asked me to send pictures, so I called my mom and asked her to send some. But since my parents were here for the weekend, they brought them along with videos and stuff. I gave it all in without really paying attention to any of it. Then boom! Bunny ears, rabbit costume and now the infamous Maks' first dance competition with red shorts! That's never going to go away! But it was cute. Who we are is based on our past, and that's certainly not going to run way. I just want everyone to know that at 4 years old, I did not dress myself. Any questions about my attire can be directed at my mom!
The bunny ears, of course, were for a school play. Like I said in the package, I must've not been a good actor because I was always the mushroom or the tree, some kind of bush in the background. I guess dancing was what I was supposed to do. I'm not complaining about where I am. No matter what you do, you have to do it full out. I could've been anything. I could've been a chemist. I was a chem/bio major in 7th grade in Russia — I was not necessarily passionate about it, but I was interested in it. But it doesn't matter how life would've turned. I would have to have been great at it the way my family operates and thinks. I always say that if I were a janitor, I would have to be the best janitor on the planet. Anything you do, you should always strive to be the best at it.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading!