Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a great week! Thanks for your votes!

I hope you do not mind, but I'm going to keep this week's blog brief. If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that my grandmother died on Wednesday. It's been a hard couple of days. She was 76. She had stomach cancer, but she had surgery a little while ago and was supposed to be OK. We found out last week that it returned. My mom was flying out to Russia, but my grandmother died before she got there. I'm just sorry she did not get to see her. I have never lost an immediate family member before, so it's hard for me to comprehend someone not being there anymore. I just do not get it. I was able to speak to her, fortunately, before she passed. My grandmother was a very strong, very active person, and she sounded kind of defeated. That was very strange for me to hear. It was such a sudden turn of events. I feel like in this day and age, with so much progress and technology, certain things could be prevented. My grandma was a great woman. She raised three wonderful children and was a very proud grandmother. I'm worried about my grandfather because they were married for 53 years. My mom is in Russia now. I'm not going to call right now because I just need to give her time. In Russian tradition, there is a nine-day period before a service, but unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to go to Russia until after the season is over. We'll figure it out.

In times like these, everything else seems trivial, but I was very happy with our rumba. We had a great time. Brandy really went after it. We really tried to do a true rumba and not a Dancing with the Stars kind of rumba, and I think we succeeded. I got phone calls and messages from my dancer friends afterward saying that it was a great rumba and they enjoyed it. We tried out best. I thought the judges were much better this week with actual constructive criticism. Both nights were well done. I think the new stage really livened things up. I always like being closer to the audience, so I loved the stage. Our song was already acoustic in itself, but I thought the orchestra did a nice job with our music. The whole week was pretty positive.

The Situation left. I can't say I was really surprised. He was close to the bottom or at the bottom every week. He has a lot of fans and they kept him in and rightfully so because everybody can vote for their favorite. But somebody's got to go each week and it was his time. If he gave it his best and that was the outcome, we need to applaud his effort. Jennifer was again very impressive. They did a great dance and I think they deserved those 10s.

Next week, we have the quickstep. We're still working it out. It should be good. Quicksteps are not very exciting dances because they're very technical and you're not supposed to break hold. There's not going to be much to wow people, especially since other couples are doing dances that are flashier. We're going for a good performance. It's TV Theme Week and we have the theme from Friends. I think it's a good fit for the dance. We're not going to act it out and dress up as Ross or Monica or anything. Well, that would be weird anyway since they're siblings!

It's a little difficult trying to work on the routine. I've been thinking a lot about stuff. I mean, I truly just do not get it. Brandy and everyone at the show have been extremely supportive. Erin's been calling and I've talked to a few people. People close to me know how close I am to my family and that nothing else matters. Once in a while, Cheryl will say something and I'll be like, "I'm about to start crying." Otherwise, I'm quite strong. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Brandy and I don't want to take away from her enjoying her experience. At the same time, I'm human. I'm going to do my best. I'm very responsible when it comes to teaching and definitely am not going to let Brandy down. Monday will be for grandma.

One more thing: Please tell your family and friends that you love them.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Maks