Derek Hough Derek Hough

Hey everyone,

I'm back! Hope you all had a great summer.

I can't believe it's that time of the year again. Everything's going good so far. Amber's been doing great. She's got a great personality, great charisma and she can move! It's a different dynamic for me and I'm psyched about this season.

A lot of people have asked me why I came back this season. I wanted to be part of the show. We're going to once a week and I wanted to be part of that transition. It's a big transition for the show and I want to be here to support it and be behind it. I have no idea what the format is going to be. I think it's going to be a rollover where no one leaves the first week and the following week, we dance and at the end of the show, someone gets knocked out. I think what makes it fun and interesting is that there's going to be a payoff at the end of the show. There's going to be suspense. I have no idea how the voting is going to work. I'm sure they'll explain it all Monday.

The other good thing about it being once a week is that it tightens up a show. And we get an extra day off. We're not going to be rehearsing with our partners on Tuesdays; we're going to be doing opening routines. It's an extra half-day, I suppose. This season, we have limitations on rehearsal times. We're only allowed four hours a day, no matter what. I think they did it to even the playing field. I don't mind it at all. We used to do whatever wanted. For me, personally, I'm not a huge fan of over-rehearsing. If it's necessarily, do it. But if you're just drawing it out, then what's the point?

What's funny is, because of the scheduling, I haven't seen a lot of the cast yet. We go in to rehearsals and they're gone. But I've loved everyone I've met so far. It's a very eclectic cast. I think on paper, right now, some of the people who have dance experience like Corbin Bleu and Elizabeth Berkley might be favorites. I think Amber's experience is similar too. But you never know how the season will shake out. I'm excited to see Snooki. I hear she's really good, so I'm excited to see what she does. She'll definitely be better than The Situation!

Amber's been awesome. She picks things up quickly. She kind of hurt her ankle a little bit. We have to work out what kind of shoe she's going to wear to help her. It's not a serious injury, but it's something that we have to keep an eye on because it could be. She says she has weak ankles and when you're wearing high heels, it can be dangerous. She hasn't seen a doctor yet, so we're just taking it day by day now. Amber surprised me when we started rehearsing and I think we're going to have a lot of fun. We have the cha-cha first. It's looking good. I'm excited to get out there to do it. It's a great song and she's cookin'!

I think it's going to be a great season. There's a new energy this year with all the changes.

See you Monday!