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

Hey guys,

Hope you had a great week!

What did you think of the two shows? Back-to-back elimination nights are rough! I can't remember the last time we did that. It was sad to see Chaka Khan and Victor go. They're both so cool and are really fun to be around.

I thought Bindi did a great job with our dances. I'm so stoked for her. I continue to be astonished by this girl and her improvement. It's miraculous. I keep saying that word, but it is. Three weeks ago, she couldn't turn at all. She could barely walk in a straight line wearing heels. Now she can do these beautiful elegant dances. It's crazy.

I know you probably don't believe me, but she really was struggling when we first met. The show hasn't shown any of that yet. I think a lot of times, the first show is more about them as a person. It's like introducing them, who I am and where I'm from. I think they miss out that first three weeks of work for everyone because it is is a big learning curve. I always think they should show more of the first three weeks for everybody. For me, as a teacher and coach, it's the coolest thing in the world to see someone who cannot do a step and to be able to go out and do these dances a few weeks later.

I'm gonna go on the record right now that she definitely did not come in that good. We started from ground zero. She never did ballet lessons at 3 or anything. She never had dance lessons when she was a kid. She never had a tap class. She was with animals! But she 100 percent has a natural sense of her body. But it's so cool that for her entire life, she's never done anything with that ever. For me to be able to bring that part out is really exciting. To see her face, when she does a move that she couldn't do five minutes earlier and she does it and she was like, 'I never knew my body could do that' It reminds me of Amy Purdy. She was like, 'I never knew I could turn with these legs.' It's awesome and fulfilling.

This week is an absolute cluster-bad word. Cluster-bleep! It is TV theme week. None of the songs were cleared until Wednesday. I got my song Wednesday night 9 p.m. I had a whole idea Thursday morning, worked out for a couple hours, and then they called and said, "I'm sorry, the song didn't clear." We had to use the backup song, so I had lunch and iced coffee, which I never have. This is serious when I drink caffeine! I went back in there, we worked on the routine and then three hours after that, they said, "Nevermind, the original song cleared." I was in a predicament because production-wise, aesthetically, the first dance would be more theatrical and more showy, but in my mind, I had kind of moved on. She was already picking up the second dance. We ended committing to the backup. It's been tough. We're wildly behind. Everybody has really cool themes and look. Ours is gonna be a little more basic now because of the time constraints.

And here's kicker! Our dance is the quickstep. The original dance we had was foxtrot, so I wasn't just adjusting the choreography to the new music — I had to completely change the choreography for a whole new dance! Like I said, it's been a crazy week, but we'll make it work!

Thanks for reading!

Derek