Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a great weekend! Are you all ready for the semis?

It's unfortunate Aaron left last week since he was a good dancer, but also, it's a shame for them to get eliminated after scoring that high and to know there's not a big fan following. I think it goes to show it's all about the votes. It is what it is. I personally think they knew they were going to go. It was pretty obvious when you get sent to a dance-off with two 10s that your time may not last too much longer. But stranger things have happened. He was one of the better dancers, but I guess not one of the more liked personalities. I think it may be a combination of things probably didn't help — his comments earlier in the season about how he was going to win and the odd tears. That probably didn't help the public vote and opinion. I never understood Aaron personally. I'm not bashing him; I'm just saying there is no history between us or anything we go back to. I'm just looking at the type of person competing on the show as an outsider. He had some great performances, but I think there was something missing and he didn't find it.

Aaron mentioned that he grew on the show. I believe him. How much did he grow? I don't know. I don't know the background of people who come into the show, but I know that no matter where you come from and no matter what kind of performance you have on stage or otherwise, it will be a very hard show for you — physically, emotionally, mentally. Everybody grows from this experience, no matter how short or long it is. He did a formidable job and gave it his all and unfortunately it wasn't enough.

Now onto the final four. After last week, Mya is hopefully catching that second wind she needed. Dima is coming up with a lot more clever routines, which is what is supposed to happen. I can be forgiving and say, "Hey, it's been a long season for them and they've been doing a great job every show." I think they took a dive a few weeks ago, but now they're back and last week was awesome. It would've been hard to watch if they went the other way because like I said last week, they should've had this in the bag a few weeks ago. Now they're back to form and have pleased Len, so I hope they can sustain the momentum. I still think Mya should've gotten a 60 last week.

Kelly — I think she needs to step it up this week if she wants to be in the final. With three dances, it's important for her to be consistent in all of them, but also take some risks to make a lasting impression. Last week, you saw how difficult it was for her to learn two dances, being exhausted and drained and all, but remember that she pulled through them and did a great job. So she can definitely do it again and I really hope she can buckle down and wow us.

I think Joanna and Derek have a huge chance to do amazing because I think that neither Kym nor Dima nor Louis can beat Derek in freestyle. Derek is very creative and crazy and out-there. Given the chance, I think he'd do something fun and I can't wait to see what it is — but they have to get there first. This is the fun part for Joanna. The finish line is in sight and she just wants it. She was told she can't and she was told in the beginning that she won't make it that far. I think there have been many elements that have played to her advantage over the course of the show, so there she is. It's all on her shoulders and she needs two more solid dances and a fun package to get the audience to say, "Yeah, you belong here. Let me vote for you." I think Joanna has built a fan base on the show. I don't think she had any when she got here and she was coming off of a questionable Superstars season where she wasn't, you know, the nicest of characters. I think in the beginning, because there were 16 couples and she was in the better tier of dancers, the judges' scores saved her just enough for the audience to figure out who she and what she's doing here. There's a celebrity every season who got the most out of the show and she's that one this season.

I know there's a lot of buzz about Joanna's Playboy cover. I don't know how that will affect anything — if it does at all. The show is a platform for celebrities to move on and do whatever else they want to do. Having said that, I think she's got a team of people behind that decided "this is what we want" and like Joanna said, she shot that before she got the show, so it's not like she has much control over what happens with it.

As for Donny, he's still doing the whole under-the-radar thing. The pressure is on now, but Donny is not going to faint. Sorry, Marie! I think Donny's going to be great and I can't wait to see them in the final and honestly, I can't wait to see how strong his fan base is. He's never been in the bottom, but we don't know if he's safe by a landslide or just by a couple of votes. I think Donny can run away with it, just based on the fan base. Marie got to the finals on the support of her fans. We're all cool and we're all great friends, but Marie got into the finals with low scores. Donny's a great entertainer and a good dancer, so I'd be very curious what happens and how it's going to play out. I think it's Kym's turn to win.

Everyone has to do two new ones and the third dance is the knockout dance they prepared. I'm not sure what the format is going to be. It sounds crazy just thinking about it. It's definitely not going to be easy. You can ask why they're doing this. Well, they're doing it because it's TV and a business venture first and foremost. It's something the network puts out to benefit from. I'm not saying they're treating us bad. They're treating us very well. It's also a free will thing. No one's twisting your arm to do it. I think it's fine to do it for three months and do your thing and build a future for whatever it is you want to do. The dancers are very clear about our job. Some of us are given celebrities that are more difficult because some of us are more professional and can pull things out of people in a way others can't. Then there are pros who production isn't sure about and they're given celebrities who are more in-charge, so the balance is a little bit off. There's talk like, "Oh, I can't believe they're paired up," etc, but if you get paired up with more challenging people, it's because they think you can do it.

Since it's the semis, I expect the judges to stay the course after last week's improvement. I want them to give their own opinion, but be professional and stay consistent. It's down to the wire now. If you're looking for something, when you get it, reward it. If you're looking for sexy appeal, fluidity and hip action and somebody comes out and does a rumba that is sexy, fluid and has hips, then you have to reward it. Every show, they say stuff, like, your fingers were off, you didn't smile, etc. And when the person comes out the next week with beautiful extensions and a big smile and look presentable, they don't comment on that and just go, "Your footwork sucks." That's not fair to them.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone dance. I've really enjoyed watching the show as a fan. They put on a beautiful show. I can't say that enough. Everyone's doing an amazing job, from producers to directors to cameramen. We have a guy who does the steadicam. His name is Hector and he'll forgive me, but he's, like, 150 years old and he runs around with 100-pound construction on his back and he does incredible shots. We all make fun of him. "Hector, don't trip today!" What goes into making a production like this is immense. I don't even know how many personnel we have. I'm actually curious to find out. It's a family. We're all friends. You know, we pros don't always root for each other, but it's not a sign of negativity. It's a sign of sportsmanship. We're all supportive and happy for each other, but we each want to win. I've been raised with that spirit to win. I think it's a great quality. I refuse to be a gray mass. I refuse to be part of the majority. Let me be disliked or misunderstood, but different. I just want to see how I high I can go. It's imperative for me to succeed. I don't want to be eliminated fourth four seasons in a row, whether it's due to injury, the least votes or something else. I'm not blaming any of my partners. Debi was literally a godsend! But I do want to do well. There's a lot more that I can do. Next season might be very interesting with the developments this season. There are certain things that are very exciting, from the number of couples to who the couples will be. I will certainly recommend people wait and see. I can't reveal too much!

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!


Watch our interview with Maks below!