Derek Hough, Dancing with the Stars Derek Hough, Dancing with the Stars

Hey everyone!

How are you? Thanks so much for your votes and messages!

Woohoo! Finals! I can't believe it! It's been such a long ride and I can't believe it's almost over! I am getting sick again, which is not good. I don't think I fully recovered from last time. It's been an ongoing thing the past two weeks. My glands are swollen, my chest hurts and it's hard to breathe and I'm coughing a lot. I'm hoping it'll pass in the next few days. When you feel like this, sometimes it's hard to create stuff. But everything it's going well so far.

Bindi keeps calling this season a gift. She's so grateful for the experience and wants to treasure it. So I said to her, "How do you want to wrap this gift up?" We listened to some music and we came across this one song that embodies everything. It's the right sentiment and the right note. This whole season has been a love letter to her dad. It honored her dad, her family, her loved ones and it also showed her growth from this little girl we all saw years ago into this wonderful, beautiful woman. Bindi really wants to be a force for good and she is. Our freestyle really embodies love and there are things in the routine that are not effects, but are nice looks and lighting and things of that nature that make it feel very raw and authentic. When I look at Bindi, I see someone who's extremely raw and authentic. I feel like the dance needed to match her.

Since it's super-sized, we'll be parachuting in. Kidding! Here's the thing for me about super-sized freestyles: I think it made sense like five seasons ago. The show has evolved in a way that our weekly dances are basically freestyles. You look at the set, having the troupe dancers and these new styles like contemporary and jazz -- they give you a lot of freedom with the dance. Compare that to the earlier seasons. You didn't have all that extra stuff in the weekly dances, so a freestyle actually felt like a freestyle. But I think it's more important to have the honesty and for the freestyle to reflect the person, so maybe sometimes it should be super-sized. It's really important to look at it like, "What's the right thing to do here?" and resist the impulse to super-size everything just because you can. Bindi has really affected me in a big way. She's been the most unbelievable surprise for me. When you have been on the show as long as I've been for almost 10 years, you start to look at it like, "What else do I have in me?" I have to make things new and fun and interesting and inspiring. I try to find my ways. But Bindi made it easier because she just brought this amazing energy, inspiration and light. It just kind of reinvigorated me. I also felt a tremendous sense of responsibility because I'm such a fan of her dad. He did everything with passion and joy, so to have his daughter put in the care of you for three months, I took it quite seriously. I can't speak on her behalf, but for me, I certainly felt this extra sense of energy in the room, that third person. So I just want to finish it with that same energy.

Our other dance is the quickstep. It's like 20-minute dance. No, it's like a minute and 50 seconds, but it feels like 20 minutes. A quickstep is exhausting! You're not allowed to break hold, so we're just going for almost two minutes. But Bindi's incredible and it's looking good. On Tuesday, we'll have the fusion with the remaining three couples, so we have no idea what that will be yet.

I think it's going to be a great finale. We have four very distinct people and types of dancers. Honestly, we didn't really know if it was still going to be a four-person finale or if they would eliminate someone. Because Tamar pulling out was so public, I had this feeling that it might be three couples just for the surprise factor. Being in jeopardy, I wasn't really thinking about being eliminated, but more about the fact that Tom said that one of these couples had the lowest combined score and votes. They can't lie about that, so one of us did. I just hope that as far as Bindi is concerned, people will remember to vote for her if they like her. She's done very well and has been so consistent that I think one of two things can happen. Either people are not fans, which is fine, and don't vote for you or they assume you'll be OK because you've been doing well. We've seen the latter happen a lot on the show. I'd love to see Bindi go all the way. I've never seen anybody like her on the show. She's so special. She's really done well. Usually you have one or the other, but she's the full package.

Except for her feet! You do not wanna look at those things. So last week, Mark came in and told me he got some glass in his foot and he wasn't sure if he could still do the trio. I said, "OK," and we walked into the studio and Bindi runs up to us, waving her phone, going, "Look at these pictures of my feet from last night." We both almost threw up on the spot. They were like a flesh-eating monster. It was something straight out of The Walking Dead. I get nauseous just thinking about them! And of course, she was her usual, cheery self, like, "It's not a big deal. I'm fine." But poor Mark. He looked at it and was all sheepish like, "Uh, OK, I guess I have to dance. No excuse!" All jokes aside, I'm glad he was able to be part of that dance. It was a fun routine to do and Bindi killed it. She was like a light engine. The thing with the rope -- it's literally how she described it on the show. She saw me doing it, asked if she could try it and she just started doing it. She's fearless.

Thanks for reading! See you Monday!