Thanks for all your comments last week. Hope you enjoyed our dance!
I'm actually in Michigan right now following Kellie around wherever she goes. I'm a little under the weather with the flu, but I think I'll be all good for Monday. I'm just feeling a little stuffed up and sore right now, but nothing some drugs won't fix, right?
We actually have jazz this week (typo last week — sorry!) and it's going to be a fun one. I stepped up the choreography a little bit to show off Kellie's abilities more. I know some of you don't like having these new styles on the show, but I like them. I never want to repeat myself and I like having the challenge of another dance style, especially something like jazz that allows for some more flexibility for me as a choreographer. It's a great dance for Kellie. I think she's really going to wow everyone with what she does. I swear she was a dancer in a past life because she has the perfect body, ability and IQ for it. But it's cool that she is a singer and has never danced before because I think that's more impressive to more people. Having been partnered with Nicole and Shawn, they certainly had training in the sense of learning choreography, not ballroom dancing obviously, but Kellie's never had this type of training before. I still tell her that she needs to start a second career as a dancer after this.
Rehearsals are going well and everything's looking pretty good so far. I would say the only potential downfall of Kellie's is that she has the attention of span of a goldfish. Seriously! I say two words and her head is staring out the window, like, "Oooh! Shiny car!" I keep teasing her about that, but we're having a great time.
I thought our cha-cha went great. I've had some people tell me that they thought we were underscored because we went first. I think that's definitely an effect of going first, but I'm perfectly happy with three 7s. When I first joined the show, I used to be obsessed with scores. I had an expectation and I would get so pissed if we got something lower. I was still in that competition mode from real ballroom competitions. But I eventually snapped out of it. The show is not just about becoming the best dancer; there's so much more that goes into it besides scores. I want my partners to enjoy themselves and fans to be entertained, so I never sweat it over scores anymore. But a 21 in the first week is nothing to complain about.
I did think the 12 for D.L. was a little harsh. I don't think he should've been scored that low, but it's always hard to say why the judges score the way they do. Maybe if we still had the half-points from last season, he would've been scored higher, but I don't know. I actually don't think the half-points make that much of a difference, so I don't mind that they're gone. It sounds good when you're getting the score, like, "Oh, we got a half-point more," but ultimately it doesn't really make a difference unless there's a huge margin between you and someone else once you factor in votes. A half-point lead over someone doesn't mean as much as a one-point lead, obviously.
I thought everyone did well on Monday. Zendaya was amazing. She's definitely the one to beat right now. My favorite was Andy Dick. Hearing him being so candid about his past and watching him go out there and dance and do a great job was so moving. I love stories and moments like that. That's my favorite thing about this show: Seeing a group of new people come in every year — wide-eyed and completely unaware about what they're about to embark on — push themselves and learn something and go out there and dance. I do think that's something that was missing from All-Stars. I loved All-Stars and seeing everyone come back and working with Shawn. We had so much fun and did some of my favorite routines, but it's a different vibe with new people.
Off to rest up a bit. See you Monday!
Dancing's Derek Hough: We're Stepping It Up This Week