Dancing With The Stars, Derek Hough Dancing With The Stars, Derek Hough

After Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough topped the Dancing with the Stars leaderboard last week with a 24, rumblings about the Dirty Dancing star's so-called "dance experience" heated up again — an unfair dig at her, Hough tells TVGuide.com. "Would you ask Adrien Brody to play piano at Carnegie Hall? Or would you ask Hilary Swank to fight in a professional boxing match?" he says. "Jennifer learned to dance 23 years ago for that movie and she played a person who didn't know how to dance. She wasn't learning new routines and dancing live week in and week out. I can see why people think that, but they're not the same." In fact, the Emmy-nominated pro has a slightly more difficult path to a record third Mirrorball trophy as he must choreograph around Grey's neck injury. Find out how he plans to do that and more.

Follow @DWTS_TVGuide for all the latest Dancing news and scoop.

TVGuide.com: Congrats on getting the top score. What did you think of your performance?
Derek Hough:
Thank you! I loved it. It was a serene performance. Not to sound cocky or anything, but I knew it was going to be a good dance for her because it fit her so well. But at the same time, you never know how she's going to do either. She's never done live performances ever, so I wasn't sure how she was going to react to being in front of a live audience, but she did awesome. I was really happy with how well she did.

Check out photos from Dancing

Dancing feels the pressure, gets ready to step it up

Dancing's Cheryl Burke "reaching new heights" with Rick Fox

Read Maks' Dancing blog