Hope you had a great week! Thanks for voting for us!
First things first, Melissa is doing well. She's quite an inspiration. It's not like her injury was a crazy trauma, but it's definitely scary and not something you want to see on the show. This is not The Hunger Games. It's Dancing with the Stars. It's not without struggle and adversity, but it's not a blood sport. We love to see people fall down and get up metaphorically speaking, not literally. Watching the playback made me think, "Am I doing the right thing? Am I pushing her too hard?" There was a lot of debating within myself. But Melissa and I spoke afterward on how to proceed and where we're gonna go. We're gonna try to take this week easier. It goes against everything I believe in and my process, but I've matured enough to understand that sometimes, certain things are not worth it. This is one of those moments where it's not worth the drama and not worth putting her through it.
I think the show amplified her injury. Having said that, Melissa's injury wasn't really blown out of proportion, but we had to tell viewers what happened, why she got carried out with an oxygen mask and why she's not here. The picture is dramatic, so we had to comment. Sometimes it becomes overdramatic afterward when people start talking, but she did almost pass out. She did take my leg out with her head so fast that she didn't even remember that it happened. I didn't even know it happened! It tells you how unexpected it was. At the same time, it was a very hard hit. It takes a lot to take my leg out. Her neck is very sore. Those are facts. When you hear that, you can take it as you wish and then people start writing things and talking about it. Honestly, I would take her falling over backwards and hitting her head over what happened. What happened is more dangerous. She has a fused vertebrae in her neck area. Her doctor came to her house and said that she should not attempt to be a hero.
Rehearsals are going well. We are taking it easier. I'm going at her pace. If I see any sign of any kind of anything, I'm stopping. She's like, "Let's continue." I'm like, "No, we're stopping." I think we'll be fine on Monday. More than anything, I really respect how cool we are as friends. We're very cool together. I was speaking to someone and they said, "She loves you. She talks about you all the time. She really likes hanging out with you." This is a person who has nothing to do with us. I'm not saying this to toot my horn or something, but I thought it was very sweet. And I love spending time with her. I really do feel that we're not fake with each other. We're have each other's best interests in mind. I'm trying to be the supportive partner and someone who has her back. That means that I alter my views on what the dance should be. As long as she's happy and smiling and healthy, I'm good.
I was very appreciative that we were saved first on Tuesday. It was strange standing by myself up. It's weird. It was strange to receive the applause on her behalf. It was her earned and deserved applause. This is her journey. But we are so grateful to our fans. It truly was the fans who brought her back. I am beyond appreciative of that. I think I have the most amazing, loyal fans, and I think Melissa's earning their love too. She has a huge following herself, so it feels like an extended family. I don't feel that we're lagging behind the other couples. I feel like we have a lot of support and that's what makes us come out and do our thing every week. I think our paso was amazing. We got two sevens — I don't get it, but it is what it is. According to the judges, we're nowhere near the top, but I'm grateful to our fans who pulled us through.
I'll be honest, I wasn't that worried about being eliminated Tuesday even though there was all the talk of a "shocking" elimination, but I did not believe it was gonna be Val and Sherri. It was undeserved. Sherri was the epitome of what the show is. She brought laughter, energy, excitement and she represents 90 percent of the viewers. She's a huge fan. She wanted it so bad. This is that unfair part of the show. You take it away from someone who wants it so bad while there are people on who don't care as much. Yeah, they're working their butts off and will be upset when they're eliminated, but it's not the same as someone who truly invested their heart and soul into it like she did. You could tell it meant a lot to her. Val walked away going, "I'm so sorry," I'm like, "Dude, are you serious?" I'm so proud of him and what they did together. For him to blame it on himself was so painful to watch. I wish they gave more time for the eliminated couples to speak. I know both Val and Sherri had so much more to say. Val and I always have a lot to say! Every season, we talk about how we don't get time to say anything. Our packages are so dry cut. They're so generically put together. We don't get to speak our minds and say what we feel. We're given one-liners, and Val and I are not one-liner type of people. We learned Dostoyevsky, Edgar Allan Poe, and Hemingway. We don't know how to squeeze a thought into one concise sound bite. I don't express myself in a soundbite. Our thoughts are very complex.
I don't know for sure how they got eliminated, but it's a probably a combination of the complicated vote tally, the phone issues — there are always glitches — and the fact that Sherri went first. Whoever goes first or early when there are so many people left is always at a disadvantage. Jack went first last week and got eliminated. With 10 couples dancing, you don't remember who danced first two hours ago. You remember who went last. I think everything fell together and it ended up with them getting eliminated. Another is, how do you compare a paso to a tango? A paso is a very showy and an open dance, and a tango is in a closed hold. Couples with a closed dance will lack the votes because those dances don't stand out visually like open dances. I'm not saying William did a bad jive, but a not-so-good jive is visually better than a good closed dance. I think it needs to be discussed how the dances are selected. Maybe just do open dances — no tango, no quickstep. Or maybe a night of open dances and a night of closed dances. When you have a cast this good, one little mishap, one little flaw and you could be gone.
Lastly, I am very excited about our Stamford studio's soft launch on Monday. We're gonna have the grand opening after the season, but Monday, we're opening our doors. Everyone's sending me pictures and it all looks amazing! I'm not gonna tweet any out because I don't believe you should show anything half-done, but I can assure you the final result will be perfect. I hope you all will have the chance to come and if not, we'll be coming to a town near you soon!
That's all for now. Thanks for reading!