Hope you had a great week! Thanks for your votes!
We got through the tango! Amber did great. I'm so proud of her. I'm not going to lie — it was touch-and-go until the 11th hour. Dress rehearsal did not go that well, but Amber just stepped it up! She's definitely an on-the-day type of person. She's a performer and knows when to bring it. I think we also lucked out having the tango. It's more about the hold and once you've got that down, you should be good. It's not walking, but the tango is all on one level, which is good for her knees.
This week we have the foxtrot, which is harder because there are slow elements and we're trying to make it interesting and fun. It's the Most Memorable Year of Your Life Week and Amber's story is a good one. She's doing well so far and her knees are better this week. I think what's happening is she's building strength and muscle around her knees, and now they're giving her support. She didn't have that strength before. She's also wearing those heavy duty knee braces, which have been a huge help, not to mention an awesome costume accessory!
It was so sad to see Valerie leave. She's such a wonderful lady and is so positive about everything. She reminds me of my grandmother. She broke my heart when she said, "Well, that's a fair score." I don't think she expected to win, but she definitely got what she wanted out of the show and loved every second of it, and we loved having her.
Now, about that $10 bribe for Julianne — that was all I had on me! I was just kind of like, "What can I do to break the ice?" I thought Julianne was a fantastic judge. There's always that fear of people being afraid of saying what they want to say, but she balanced the praise and the critique very well. I know everyone's up in arms about her comment to Mark and I really don't get it! I don't know why people are reading into that so much. It wasn't a diss. I thought Julianne gave constructive criticism and when she said that, I thought it was clear that it was in jest. I think Mark wasn't expecting it, but it's not a big deal. The three of us go way back and mess around with each other all the time. We went out to dinner after the show and had a great time. Then the next morning, I wake up, go online and every headline is, "Dancing with the Stars Feud! Julianne Hough vs. Mark Ballas." We were all like, "What?!" It's funny how things get blown out of proportion over nothing.
Thanks for reading!
Dancing's Derek Hough: Amber Stepped It Up