Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone,

Thanks again for all of your comments. It's been such a long season. Can you believe it's the finals now?

From what I see, what I know and what the little birdie told me, the pressure is all on Donny. I was saying all along — and I think everyone has been saying all along — that this guy is going to be in the finals. He's in the finals now, but what is he going do? Kym has been in the finale before and I think she is going to try to outdo herself and will pull out some things for the freestyle.

It's kind of been a theme of this show that the freestyle wins the competition. I don't know what it is about it. There's where Gilles lost it last season. I don't know what happened with Mel and me. I've never heard a negative comment about our freestyle — even the judges liked it. It was hip-hoppy but we did get a perfect score, so I don't know. Still, it's been a theme. Whoever does the best freestyle runs away with it. Look at Shawn Johnson last season. It was amazing, non-stop, so much fun to watch. I loved it. It was great. So I think that's Kym's No. 1 focus — to come up with an amazing freestyle. Everyone has four numbers altogether — freestyle, unlearned dance, repeat dance and the Mega Mix medley — which is crazy. But I believe all the pressure is on Donny. People had expectations of him and he's been sort of under-the-radar all season — consistent but not "Oh my God! Look at that!" the best — so now's the time for him to prove himself.

I have a feeling Mya sees the light at the end of the tunnel. She's ready to get it all over. She's had the most pressure on her the entire show. My hat goes off to her because she kept her composure the entire show, even when she was talked about negatively — that she shouldn't be here or that Joanna is better than Mya — whatever. She kept it together and got to this point. Now, she's got that second wind and she's feeling it. She can see it in her sites. She's going for it. Again, I'm looking forward to their freestyle. I think she and Dima can come up with something incredible.

I think Kelly is the least nervous of the three. Let's face it: I'm not sure if at the beginning of the season anyone put Kelly in the finals. For her, this is already an incredible achievement. I'm extremely happy for her and her family. They're watching their daughter do this. I'm sure it warms their heart because it's so different from what she went through. It's been quite a journey for Kelly. We've seen how much it means to her. Her making it to the final is a testament to how liked she is by the fans and how enjoyable her performances have been. I think the pressure's off. I think she's going to exhale finally. Whatever Louis comes up with, they can go all out and have fun with it. I think she should approach it as enjoying the hell out of the final and let Mya and Donny approach it like a battle. Louis is a very creative dude and whatever they do will be fun, exciting, charged up with positive emotion. There's no pressure. Everything's behind her. She's proven to everybody that anybody can do it. I want to say congratulations to her because no matter what, she's a winner. She's won tons of fans with her personality and her beauty. She's so pure and so positive emotionally. It'd be so perfect to see her win — and she definitely can — but I think, and they'd say so as well, that this experience as a whole is much more important.

I don't see how anybody will take it by a landslide. I think it may come down to a few votes or a few points. That brings me to another point: the judges. Judges, read this very carefully! Let the damn viewers decide. This is very close. Yes, Mya is amazing. She is incredible. She is by far the best dancer and one of the best we've ever had on this show. Donny is bringing it. This guy is the ultimate entertainer. Kelly has this beautiful, transformative arc and is the most relatable to the public as someone who came in with no dance experience and is just improving with hard work.

Let's make a deal with the judges. If they all come out and outdo themselves, if you can't find something to pick on, don't pick on it. I don't want them to decide this competition. I want them to sit back, watch the performance and not necessarily do this cheap stuff they usually do in the final where they even out the playing field. I want them to enjoy the dances and realize how hard it's been and look back and reward them for their work. These three have worked their butts off. They got to where they got to because they want it, they worked for it and all they see is that damn final. Don't over-criticize. There's nothing you can do anything about it. What's going to happen? You're going to say, "Your arms were this, your face was that." I mean, we've heard it the entire season. It's not like they're going to go backstage and say, "Hmm, you know what? When the show is over, I will go work on my arms and my presentation in my face." No! It's the last time! Just let it go and just judge the whole thing and come up with a score that reflects what they did today — not what they're capable of, what they should've done, what they needed to do. It's the final time they're going to dance and let them have that moment.

Also, let it be what it is. It's a show that's decided by fans who want to see their favorite win no matter what. If you give someone a 3, people are going to rally around that person because you pissed them off. I want the viewers to have fun, the judges to have fun and most importantly, I want the finalists to have fun. I want everyone who's participated on the show to come out with a positive emotion of what ballroom dancing is. I know it's physically demanding, but I want those people to become one of us — a fan of ballroom dancing — even if just for a little bit. I want the judges to make sure they don't turn off those people from the show. When the show's all done, I want all the Donnys, Myas, Kellys, Chuck Liddells and everyone saying, "Yeah, I had a blast. I loved it, I enjoyed doing something different and something I will never do again." The only things that can stand in the way of that positive emotion are the judges. Let's have a blast. Let's do what we're supposed to do. End on a good note. There have been so many times it's ended on a bad note or with controversy or something. If Donny wins, so what? He's the ultimate entertainer. He's been in this industry a lot longer than I've been alive. If Mya wins, she's the best dancer. If Kelly wins, then the show is exactly what it is: a popularity contest. It's a show that gives people the opportunity to put somebody they want to see there, no matter what.

I'm totally fine with whoever wins. If I had to pick, I would love to see Mya win only because I'm a dancer. I'm a technician. I'm all about details and Mya's got them, but I'm also a Dancing with the Stars veteran and this is our ninth season. Kristi Yamaguchi ran away with it from day one. Brooke Burke battled for it at the end. A lot of people thought Mel should've won. It's what people want and it doesn't matter. A lot of things have changed and a lot of attitudes and mindsets have changed — mine included.

So I hope we can all have a blast this week. After the season's done, I'm going to have a lot of stuff to keep me busy. As I mentioned in my last entry, I immediately fly to New York after the finale to rehearse for Burn the Floor. I'm going to be in that show until early January. After that, I'm going to spend a week in Las Vegas to work on La Reve and choreograph some new numbers. Then I will be back home for my birthday and I will probably spend some time at my studios. At the end of January, I'm going to the Winter X Games.  I'm going there to check out Louie and Kristi Leskinen, my Superstars partner. It's going to be great. After that, I'm heading to South America on a save the rainforests campaign. I'm super-excited about that. Details to come.

I can't wait for everything. This season has been crazy. I know I've said this has been the hardest season, but you know what? It has also been one of the most exciting seasons I've had. It's been so confusing and up-and-down. I've learned a lot about myself. I've been able to figure out a lot things about me as a person and people around me in general. Everything happens for a reason and you have to take it one day at a time. The problem is that I'm not a one day at a time person! For me, it's about a month from now. How do I set up my life and my future? I see so many people nowadays losing things, building their lives up and losing things at the last second because of a lot of things because of the market or whatever. I just want to say to everybody out there who has been helping me with kind words — thank you. My fans have been amazing! I've gained a lot of fans over the whole technological advances of Twitter and blogging. All your comments on here are great. I just want people to know I'm just who I am. I'm genuine. There's nothing fake about me. There's nothing they can misunderstand because I try to be very open about everything I do.

I've been thinking about this and I'm going to put it through some people, but I'm totally interested in doing, if not a talk show, then definitely a radio show. I have so much to say. I've always known I'm opinionated, but I didn't know if I'm educated enough to present my opinion. It's not that I think now I'm educated enough, but I am very well-read. I do talk to a lot of people about different subjects and I do pride myself on knowing things and talking to intelligent, diverse people. That's why I think I love Dancing with the Stars so much. I've been known to say from day one that there are a lot of things wrong with the show, but I never say the reason I keep coming back, so I will now. I love doing the show because it allows me to meet people. Where else can you be in the same room as Tom DeLay, Chuck Liddell, Melissa Joan Hart, a Playboy model, Denise Richards, Debi Mazar, Laila Ali, Olympic gold medalists? The seven seasons I've been on — I can't believe the people I have met. This is the best thing, so I definitely want to have some kind of radio talk show — talk to people, play some music I want to play. I think it's a good idea. What do you think?

Anyhow, that's all for now. Everyone, watch and vote for your favorite! Thanks for reading!

Maks