Thanks for your votes!
Last week was a tough one for us, but I'm really proud of Amber and how she pulled through. We ended up having no rehearsal time. The quickstep you saw on the show was honestly the first time we did it from beginning to end. Crazy, right? In total, we did maybe three hours on that quickstep. Neither of us was sure how it was going to turn out, but I thought Amber did a good job with it. But the worst thing is when you do something and you know you could do better. That's what has lit a fire under Amber for this week.
We have the jazz and the Viennese waltz. For the jazz, I'm trying to figure out ways to make it intricate, fun and exciting. We definitely don't want to use Amber's knees as a crutch. I know that's our "story" this season and yes, she does have bad knees, but we don't want people to think we're using it as an excuse or for people to say, "Well, that was good for you... for your knees being bad." I'm trying to come up with choreography that will be technical and knee-friendly. There's going to be some hand choreography. We had Tuesday off because Amber had to go to the doctor to get everything checked out, so we started Wednesday with the jazz and I'm thoroughly enjoying dancing it. It's hard, but it's fun.
Amber's knees are better this week. What would keep happening was she would treat one knee and that knee would get better, but she would compensate on the other and the other one would get bad. That's why it's been going back and forth. When all that pressure is on her knees, they build up fluid and you have to relieve them. Now they're good. She's got both of them taken care of, so they're equally distributed, if you will.
We're still working on the Viennese waltz, but I'm very pumped about the song. Both dances are to the same song, but the Viennese waltz will be to the acoustic version. We actually couldn't clear any of the existing acoustic versions, so I got on the phone with our music people and worked on it with them to make one suitable for a Viennese waltz. I was literally singing to the music producer, which was hilarious! And now I want to cover the song and perform it! Maybe I'll put it on YouTube after the show.
We're all going to miss Elizabeth. She's an amazing, amazing woman. She loved doing the show so much. It was surprising to see her go, but once again, it just goes to show that the viewer votes are crucial and more so now since the votes are counted from the week before. Bill was 14 points below Elizabeth. That is a significant difference and you know that there are a lot of votes happening for him. On one hand, it's nice that Elizabeth left on a high note with a 30, but it's also a bummer too. I remember my first season with Jennie Garth. We got three 10s in the semis and we got sent home. It's just one of those things. It's always a tougher to swallow when it's so close to the final. That's not to say Bill and Emma don't deserve to be in the semifinals — they absolutely do. They earned their spot. The show has always been, is and always will be more than dancing. I think Bill has realized this and is really going to take advantage of it. He's shooting for the final. His mindset now is, "Wow. All these people are voting for me. I want to do them justice."
Thanks for reading. See you in the semis!
Dancing's Derek Hough: We Don't Want to Use Amber's Knees as a Crutch