Derek Hough

Hey everyone!

Thanks for your votes!

How'd you like those sailor outfits?

Amber and I were so pumped to get immunity, especially since we were both nearly crippled last week! It was also good to get immunity not just for immunity sake, but because we got to rest Amber's knee. We practiced for all three dance-offs, so to not have to do one was good.

I thought Cher was great. It was so wild to see Cher up there. We've had a lot of really fantastic, talented stars come through, but what she has accomplished throughout her career is unfathomable. You can talk about and think about it, but it's still crazy to be looking right at her. My favorite moment was when she held up her paddle and was like, "Cher!" She should've done that for everyone!

Right now, we're in a bit of a stall. Amber was unable to come in to rehearsals Thursday because of a personal matter, so we're a little behind. It's nothing with her knee. She will be back today, so I think we'll get back on track. We have the quickstep this week and the salsa trio with Mark. The good thing is both routines are relatively choreographed, so it's about polishing them up. I'm also not as worried with Amber when we miss a rehearsal because she's a quick learner. Everyone learns differently and sometimes people come in the next day and it's like rehearsals the day before didn't happen. With Amber, she's really good about doing homework at home and when she comes in the next day, she has improved.

I'm still looking out for Amber's knee, but I'm hoping to add in some more elements this week and going forward if we stick around. It's Week 9 already, which is insane! As we get down to the wire, I think we need to up the choreography a bit because I've toned it down for medical purposes. It's about making everything sharper and more precise. As far as performing goes, Amber has got that down pat. I have nothing to teach her there!

It was sad to see Brant go. He's such a great, great guy. It always hurts at first, but I think when he looks back, he's going to be really proud. He'll tell you himself — compared to some of the other celebrities, he didn't come in with an established fan base and he made it this far. In a way, he experienced one of the most fulfilling things about the show, which is people falling in love with him and voting for him. He's got new fans. I was a little surprised, but everything about this season is unpredictable since it's once a week and the votes are tallied from the previous week, so fans can't help out their favorite the same week if they get a low score or something. We've already lost great dancers like Christina, Nicole and Brant.

My heart broke when Bill told Nicole that it should've been him who left. I understood what he's saying. What I told him is he's definitely the most genuine on the show and absolutely deserves to be here. He still can't believe he's going. But he really epitomizes the show. You're really with him and rooting for him. He's having a ball and I wouldn't be surprised at all if he wins.

Thanks for reading!

Derek