Thanks for your votes and messages this week!
My back is better. All is well. It was touch-and-go for a while on Monday, but I felt better as we got closer to show time. I had to rest it for a few days and Amber had to see her doctor about her knee, so we didn't start rehearsals until Thursday.
Luckily, we have the rumba this week, so it's slower and should be easier on Amber's knee. She's doing well so far, but the difficult thing is that the rumba is about leg action and technique. Amber is still wearing her knee brace, so it's a little tricky trying to get all the technique down. We're not sure if she can dance without it yet, but we're working with it. It's also not as simple as just taking the brace off. When you wear a brace for a long time, your muscles become dependent on it, so you have to ease back into everything after you take it off. I had knee braces once and when I took them off and tried to dance, my knees completely buckled. It's a very weird, disorienting feeling.
We also have work cut out for us because, since it's Cher week, our song is "If I Can Turn Back Time." How do you rumba to that?! If you know, tell me! I watched the music video a few times with her on that Navy ship. What if we wear that fishnet bodysuit get-up? I'm joking! (Maybe.)
I want to give a shout-out to Henry. He was awesome when I missed dress rehearsal and he stepped in to learn our paso and our team dance. Thanks, Henry! My back was hurting Monday, but I didn't want to let anyone down and I was feeling a little bit better. I thought both team dances were awesome. Bill cracked me up. He was definitely the MVP. Our dance was so random, but the song is so random! Everyone did a kick-ass job and we got a 30! I'm not going to lie — it's pretty awesome to keep my winning team dance record intact.
I'm very pleased with our paso too, given the circumstances. I've gotten a few messages saying that we should've gotten a 30 — thanks for those — but it's cool. What Bruno said about Amber's shoulders was true, and we're thrilled with a 29, especially since it could've gone worse than it did.
I was really sad to see Snooki go. We all were. We're going to miss her a lot. When she started crying, that broke my heart. Sasha told me that her schedule had been really crazy the whole season with other commitments and her show. She was flying around a lot and burning the candle on both ends. This week, she had an open schedule and she was looking forward to focusing on dancing, so she was really bummed to leave right before the first week she could really buckle down. It was great to get to know her as Nicole. I think she won a lot of people over on the show and changed some people's opinions about her. You have that image of her in your head as Snooki, but you saw on the show who she really is. I think everyone could tell that she really wanted to be here and she loved every second of it. I don't remember which celebrity said this, but someone said that what's really cool about the show is it's empowering. You get dressed up and get to be glamorous and show off what you just learned in five days. I definitely think that applied to Snooki.
Thanks for reading!
Dancing's Derek Hough: My Back Is Better