Derek Hough Derek Hough

Hey guys,

Thanks for your votes!

If you haven't heard, my switch-up partner is Sadie! Bethany is with Mark, so we had a straight swap! I've been staying at Sadie's family farm in Louisiana and it's amazing here. We've been riding four-wheelers and having a good time. We have the Charleston and Sadie's doing great so far. She's a really terrific dancer and she's not afraid to try things. I think she's been really impressive so far on the show, so hopefully I won't let her down! I was joking that I should grow my blonde beard out and it'll be Albino Duck Dynasty. I don't think we've had that yet!

I'm really proud of Bethany and our routine this week. I really wanted to try to use the creative to convey a message in a way that was simple but understandable and impactful. That's why I felt like using the words on the screen. Words are things that can affect us. The whole meaning behind it is that you can wipe them away. There are good words and bad words, which she wipes away. Don't listen to that. You shouldn't let the bad bring you down, but you don't need to rely on the good either. All you need is you. That was the symbolism behind that.

Bethany's intro package was incredibly powerful. I've never seen her like that. She doesn't really get upset. She's always laughing and goofing off. I was watching the package for the first time and I'm seeing her cry and get emotional, so I walked over and gave her a hug. I told her, "At the end, I want you to look up at the message and I want you to believe it and think about how far you've come." She did that and she turned around and started crying during the show. It really got to me.

Seeing Julianne get emotional too got to me too. Julianne works with the Kind Campaign, which addresses bullying, especially girl-on-girl bullying and violence. It's about empowering young girls and choosing kindness. I knew the piece would mean something to her as well. But then for her to go into the critique was great too! I loved it. It was real and expected. This was one of those times where I sacrificed the content for the meaning. Sometimes you have to do that. I think there was more dancing in there comparatively to a lot of other dances. As far as a rumba, it was a standard rumba. There wasn't a rumba beat to the song, which is totally cool. I was really happy with the way it worked out.

The whole night was very moving. Lea's story and dance were so emotional. I don't think anyone had a dry eye in the house after she performed. Mark though — oh, my God! He was just like, "Hey, let's have you be a bird. I'm gonna be a hunter and I'm gonna wear a beard and camouflage." That was hilarious! It's what we like to call a Mark Special around here. It was fantastic. Sadie was so wonderful. That was actually the best she had performed that dance. I had seen her do it several times during rehearsals and camera-blocking. There was a part in there that looked a little crazy, but she nailed it on Monday. Alfonso doing The Carlton was the perfect way to cap off the night. I was laughing too hard at Tommy and Mike attempting it to do it myself. Maybe we'll all do it on the finale. How about that?

See you Monday!