Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a great week! Thanks for voting for us!

We are hard at work on the Charleston and it's going to be a good one! I know my initial reaction was like, "Aw, crap!" But when you think about it, the other option was rock 'n' roll, and the Charleston is much better for Kirstie. She's having a lot of fun with the dance.

I really enjoyed the whole dance selection segment, but the problem was, none of us could hear what Tom and Brooke were saying on stage! It's so loud in there, so when they explained how it was going to work, none of us heard it. Afterward, I went up to one of the producers and asked how the order was selected and they explained it was the cumulative score and the lowest couple picked for the highest couple and then vice versa. It's obvious they wanted the lower couples to sabotage the higher couples by giving them silly dances, but nobody really did. Nobody tried to put someone down. Plus, I don't think 10 seconds is enough time to strategize like that. Louis actually came up to me after the show and said, "Hey, are you really upset we gave you the Charleston? We think it'd be good for you." And I said, "No, not at all. It was just in the moment. I don't think I would've been happy with either right then." But overall, I thought the idea itself was funny and it was different from what we normally do.

Kirstie picked disco for Sabrina and Louis, and of course, she had no idea what she was doing. I don't know if you were able to hear on TV, but I was whispering to her, "What do you want to pick?" And she goes, "Oh, disco! I love the disco!" I was like, "Babe, that's not for us. We're picking for them." She had no idea what was happening — she never does! I feel like everybody accidentally got a good dance. I'm so looking forward to Val and Kelly's contemporary.

I'm so happy for Val that he's made it past the third week for the first time. I love his and Kelly's partnership. I love that they have emerged as a surprise contender, if you can even say that in an all-star season. I love their chemistry. I've known Kelly for a long time and she's a good friend. She's got an amazing story, from her youth to how she got to where she is now. I'm glad that audiences are recognizing them as a couple that's up there. We have no idea what the vote totals are, but I really hope there's a strong fan base behind them. I do wish that they would reveal the votes at least. I do believe that everything's fair, and if it's not manipulated, what do you have to hide? In a season like this, votes are more important than ever.

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I was thrilled with our cha-cha. It was fun and it was what we wanted. Kirstie did a great job. It wasn't the best cha-cha ever, but it's the best for us. We're not the best couple, but I believe we're the best entertainers. I think I've learned to embrace that over the years. It doesn't make me a hypocrite; it makes me an optimist. It makes me realize what people are tuning in for. They want smiles when their days were sh---y. They want to have a laugh on a Monday when they probably aren't laughing. It was a respectable cha-cha. I am in a very happy place right now. I believe Kirstie and I are amazing together at the moment. We've found what our partnership really is. We butt heads when it comes to certain things like we used to, but it's never negative. It's not dramatic. It's funny. I come, I work and we work together toward a common goal. It's not me working toward a goal that Kirstie doesn't see. We work together.

I don't, however, think I looked like an ugly woman. I think I'd make for a handsome woman! The whole concept was a lot of fun and obviously we were going for the androgynous rocker look because that's what the era was like. I think that when you play a rock star, you go all out. When it comes to acting, if I were to play a role, there'd be a lot more research of the character's mindset, etc. It's very important to understand why the person was going through what they went through. Rock 'n' roll was a whole lifestyle. It was drug-induced. When we're getting ready for the dance, Kirstie was like, "You have to act like you're tripping on acid." I've never done a drug in my life. I don't have the slightest idea of what a person tripping on acid looks like. I'm not judging rock stars or their decisions because what they did was genius, but it's very hard for me to understand what that was like.

I will tell you about the last time I did dress as a woman. It was Halloween 15 years ago. It was my third year in America and I was still brand new to the concept of Halloween and what it was all about, but I was game for dressing up. We were in the company of dancers and someone decided that we should cross-dress for a party. I was on board, but I never ended up going to that party because I tried on my dance partner's dress — a hot pink and yellow mini-dress that had a bra. I remember it was made out of sequins. I put it on, I walked out and looked in the mirror and I was like, "I am not going!" I was not embarrassed or nervous or anything like that, but I was one of the ugliest, scariest women you have ever seen in your life. I would've haunted children forever. I was like, no way! Nowadays, I think I've grown into my looks and I'd be a handsome woman! I'd totally embrace it, but I'm telling you, you would not want to see me in that dress back then!

We won't have any cross-dressing costumes for our Charleston. They will be great though. Kirstie is truly loving the dance and naturally, she thinks she's still in charge. She always thinks she's in charge! I saw how much fun she had the last time. She loves directing. She likes the movie set element of what we do. It's natural for her. I noticed that when she's in that mode of an actor on set, she embraces the fatigue a lot better. Acting is not easy — 18-20-hour days are hard. But I realized if she can take 18-hour shooting days, I have to find a way to make her exhaustion from dance make sense to her. If she feels like she's on set and this is a movie role in which she's a dancer, it's a more positive for her. It's little things like that that really make a difference.

It was tough seeing Helio and Drew leave. They'll definitely be missed. A lot of people have commented that Helio leaving was a bit retribution for Mel B. since he beat us in Season 5, but I don't look at it that way. He's a great, positive dude. He's happy to the point where you don't believe that anyone can be this happy. Knowing him for two seasons, I can tell you that he's always happy. He's one of the most positive people I've met and just fun to be around — sort of like Joey, but in a different way. And Drew — what else is there to say? He's awesome. He did the best dance of all time with that freestyle. To see that type of champion go, it was a wake-up call to everyone — we lost two champions in one night!

Lastly, I hope you were able to catch me on Ellen on Thursday. I got splashed — in Ellen undies! — to raise money for breast cancer research. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and anything I can do to bring attention to the cause — and any cause — I will do. It was a lot of fun and I also want to encourage everyone to do all you can to support this fight.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

Maks