Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your comments and messages again. I've had busy week and before we get into Dancing, I want to mention a very important event I went to last week.

I had the privilege of attending the Free the Slaves Freedom Awards and it was amazing! I had no idea what to expect going into it. I was totally blind to things like this — modern-day slavery. It was interesting to find out the facts. While I was doing the red carpet, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore showed up and all these big actors were there, so it was a very publicized event and now a lot of people are jumping onboard to raise awareness and help out. When you hear it, you don't really think about stuff like that: "Like, really? Slaves in 2009?" Somebody asked me on the carpet what I think we should do and I think just the knowledge that there are more people out there than whoever facilitates human trafficking is already something to think about. It gets more people involved and makes the police become aware of this. I think we can change it. I was totally shocked and surprised and very happy to be a part of it.

As for Dancing, I was sad to see Chuck go. Maybe going first on Monday hurt him, but he's also splitting fans with Michael Irvin and the week before, Michael was in the bottom two, so that makes most people want to support Michael and Chuck was a little overlooked. But I think the elimination was like, "Wow!" since Chuck's never been in the bottom two. Chuck also had the country two-step, which I think we could've totally done without. It looks like the men are not dancing, but the men don't really do anything in that dance, so it's tough for the male celebrities.

I loved the Charleston. Everybody just went for it and put on a production. I was a little bit freaked out by Louis' makeup! Knowing Louis, it wasn't a surprise or a shock, but more like, "Oh, Louis!" The bolero is very similar to the rumba, but technically it's a lot different. However, to have some people do rumba and bolero back-to-back, like Natalie had to and she did a great job, is difficult because you have to make the dances look different when they're similar. But she has the legs to make any dance work. I thought the lambada was great, but it's very limited — like, are we going to do the Macarena next year? It's not really a dance, just a bunch of movements. I really enjoyed Joanna's. It was funny when Derek said he wasn't going to take his shirt off until the music turned on. I got a nice shout-out from him too!

I was watching Dr. Drew the other day and I thought it was interesting that his show was referred to as a social experiment. I really like that phrase. That's exactly what these reality shows are. They're nothing other than an experiment. It's like big brother syndrome. You put a bunch of people in a room and see their reactions. It's not just dancing, but surviving this experiment. You put a person in a situation and you watch him or her figure the situation out. During the season, some people figure things out and some people don't. Look at Melissa. She went from the bottom, very uncomfortable and slightly uncoordinated, to all of the sudden the top of the leader board with an amazing dance, totally killing it. Then you see some go in, like Aaron, with a lot more swagger and a lot more confidence, and during the course of the show, realize that "Uh oh, this is not what I expected." That's a failed experiment. I think it's something that's happening to everybody. Some are coming into their own and look better as the weeks go and some people look worse and worse.

I still have no idea what's up with Len and Mya. Len must really like Mya because he's doing the fifth-grader's approach. The signs of affection are very elementary school-like, in the sense of the boy pulling the girl's hair or throwing stuff. I think that's what's going on with Len and Mya. I think deep inside he thinks she's amazing, but he just refuses to give in and give her the well-deserved 10. She's very calm, very kind and very focused. I think she knows Len is secretly fascinated with her. I think every season there are some comments we could've done without, but it's what they do. We have to take the good with the bad. When they praise you, it's great. You enjoy it and they're the best judges in the world. When they don't say what you want to hear, all of the sudden they're bad. They are what they are.

I think a lot of people were surprised Anna and Michael stayed despite their low scores. But I think Michael is going a good job of figuring this thing out. It's Anna's first season and she doesn't have much experience coaching. I think that just being a great dancer is not enough. I love Anna. I think she's going to be amazing one day and this is an experience equivalent to someone hitting you upside the head with something very heavy. I don't know if this is public knowledge, but Michael still does his radio show in Texas and they rehearse at like 4 in the morning! People don't know that. This guy works and his rehearsal time is between his work. I don't know how she does it because I am so not a morning person! This isn't even morning; it's like dead of the night. But now with Chuck out, I think Michael may get his votes. They were similar in their fan base. But they have the Paso Doble next week and I wouldn't be surprised if Michael came out with something big.

This week, I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone's come up with. As I'm sure you've heard already, I'm doing the Argentine tango with Joanna. Derek has been sick, so I've stepped in. It's tough this week because they have the group hustle and a knockout dance too and it's been confusing as to whether Derek's healthy enough, but she's been handling everything extremely well and is doing a great job. Get well soon, Derek!

On Tuesday, you'll see me on the floor again in the Michael Jackson tribute. I am super-excited. We have three songs compiled into one big tribute. I choreographed the middle routine. It's me, Edyta, Tony, Chelsie, Dmitry and Lacey. It's been amazing and a lot of fun. I had a couple of weeks off and I haven't done a results show number since Cheryl and I danced together. We're having a blast. The first song is choreographed by somebody else and the last song, the entire cast comes in together for "Thriller," but I think our section will be the best! We filmed the wide shots and we looked at it and it looks really good. MJ is an idol and a personal hero. I remember when I heard the news. I cried. It was a huge loss. It was funny because my brother and I were talking about it. You go through life and you don't notice a lot of things that happen, but it's incredible what has happened in the past few years. During my lifetime, I experienced first-hand 9/11, the ridiculous tsunami in Asia and MJ passing. I'm not comparing the events because they're different, but they're pretty huge. We lost a great one, but his legacy lives on. I hope our dance will pay tribute in the right way.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!