Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hey everyone!

Hope you had a great week! Thanks for voting for us!

I am really bummed Val and Elisabetta left. I was worried about him — we worry about each other all the time — and when he got eliminated, I felt bad because I want to see him win and do well. We're competitive by nature and it's hard to accept stuff like this at first, but you do and move on. It's not ideal, but he will be back. I thought they did a great job with their quickstep, but unfortunately, nobody knew her. They relied on getting a good score, which they got, but a lot of other people got good scores too, and it was a close spread, so that's where the fan bases make the difference.

As for our scores, it is what it is. I am more concerned with the judges' comments. I thought they were discouraging, not just for us, but other celebrities and pros. I understand when harsh criticism is deserved, but with Hope, I don't think it was deserved. I was actually more OK with them on Monday, but when I saw video of our jive afterward, I thought it was good. It was quick and fast and looked better than a few others. Maybe this was a case of high expectations for her, but I thought she did well. We got a little discouraged. It's tough doing this week in and week out — we have to pick up the pieces try to move on, and that's on top of choreographing a new dance, teaching the new dance, learning the new dance and everything else. It's mentally difficult. Their comments stuck with Hope. She felt a little insecure about a few things. Everything that she does on the soccer field feels completely opposite of what I'm trying to make her do here. I'm not trying to change her body drastically — I don't want her to have a hard time going back to the Olympic camp. I don't want to change that in her, so it's a balance of finding that mix for her to feel comfortable. I'm just happy we got through and that the week has passed.

Now we have the cha-cha. It's coming along great. It's also celebrity story week and they get to pick the song too. It's going to be a pretty dramatic week and I feel like most of the songs people have chosen may be more lyrical or serious, but Hope went in the complete opposite direction. But it's not like you can be completely serious with a cha-cha anyway! She picked a song the women's team played in their locker room during the World Cup to get pumped up. It's a really cool, energetic song, and we're just going to go out and do a fun cha-cha.

I think everybody was great this week. Some people had comebacks and some people had dips, but overall, I think everyone did well. It was a very hard week, but I think this third week will be the true test. Now we only have four days to prepare a dance, so we'll see how everyone does.

The best part about this week though? Sleep is now in Los Angeles! It was his first plane ride! He's having a blast out here right now. He's a very happy dog. He's got friends and is the center of attention everywhere he goes. I took him to set yesterday, but I'm not sure he's ready for his Dancing debut yet.

I also have great news about my jewelry line. Next month, JC Penney's will sell them in stores in New York, L.A., Miami, Houston, Dallas and Chicago. It's going to be a trial run, but we're very hopeful. They've been doing well online and I've been hearing great feedback so far. There will also be new pieces in the collection that are not being sold online. I will also tweet out a list of independent jewelry stores around the country that will carry them, so be sure to follow me at @MaksimC. I'm just excited to roll them out across the country now. We didn't want to do it all at once — we want longevity and I think this is a good pace. I'm happy people love it. I gave pieces to the cast and they've been wearing it. J.R. wore it this week when he performed. Chynna wore something. Billy Baldwin is totally into them! Doing business is great, but more than that, I'm thrilled to be getting the reaction from people. It makes it all very rewarding.

That's all for now!

Maks