Plus: Maks on last night's elimination, group routines, and sneak peeks

By Maks Chmerkovskiy
Updated September 21, 2016 at 08:22 PM EDT
Eric McCandless/ABC

Dancing With the Stars

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This season on Dancing With the Stars, fan favorite pro-dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be blogging for EW to give us the behind-the-scene scoop on each week’s competition.

On being “in jeopardy” last night…

After that experience, Amber [Rose]’s like, “I never want to be in that red light again, I’m ready to go!”

We stood there last night in jeopardy, and she started crying. I was like, “Wait, what are you doing??” And Amber was like, “I have no idea, I’m not a crier! I’m not that girl!” That was one of the sweetest moments I’ve had with a celebrity. It was such a human reaction to something so innocent that then becomes meaningful. We put in so much effort and time, so it becomes important. I was glad to see this is so important to her.

When we learned we weren’t eliminated, I said, “We’re good!” This show doesn’t have any rollover or anything like that, so we are starting fresh every week. We have a brand new routine and song, but I feel like it won’t be the same Amber as before. I feel like we’re stronger now, and little by little, we’ll add to her abilities. Our second performance was already better than our first, so I just want to keep adding to it.

Going forward, I think we have some issues that we will overcome, and I am also learning what does and doesn’t work. All I’m trying to do is make sure she doesn’t trip, or isn’t too nervous, and make sure she feels secure in the performance come Monday night. My job with Amber is to pace and maintain and make sure she’s having fun.

On the Trio dance and group routines from episode 3…

But I really love doing the group numbers, and it’s definitely a big part of why I came back to the show. I just want to dance and continue to be active in this way, so I’m very happy to be able to do that.

It is a lot, though. I must say, the pro dances for this show are unbelievably difficult in terms of physical and mental activity at the same time. I need to give credit where it’s due, to our choreographer Mandy Moore. She’s someone I’ve known for a very long time. It’s a stressful f—ing production, and it’s a lot to take on. You have to be a brave person to do it.

Eric McCandless/ABC

For example, in the number at the top of the second hour that was very colorful, when we all kind of looked like Skittles (which is very funny considering this week, I’d like to take a picture and send THAT to the Republican candidate, because that would be an appropriate Skittles reference), Mandy was there to make sure everything worked and looked amazing. Having that centralized person has been invaluable to these productions.

My other favorite performances this week…

I think Val [Chmerkovskiy] and Laurie [Hernandez] were great again. I also loved Jana [Kramer] and Gleb [Savchenko] and Marilu [Henner] and Derek [Hough]. They all had excellent routines.

A sneak peak at next week…

Next week will be the presidential debates, and we will only have an hour-long show. So, the format will be different — it’s going to be a face off. They split us into six groups of two pairs, and each pair has the same style of dance. So we’ll each dance, and then we get a score, and whoever has the higher score will have immunity from elimination.

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On drama, and the wonderful DWTS fans…

Despite the events of last week, I know that DWTS is not a show people watch for any more drama. It’s funny, I remember being back in the Ukraine, and when we got a VHS player, my dad would send me to the rental store to get new tapes. He’d say, “Get me something I don’t have to think about.” I turned him into a huge fan of action movies because I’d rent Stallone, Seagal, and Schwarzenegger movies. I’d think, “Let me get him stuff that blows up and has a very simple plot.”

That’s similar to DWTS because you don’t tune in for the drama. You tune in because you want to be entertained and relax, and watch great dancing. So I must say thank you to the people who tune in, watch, and vote. In a time where shows come and go, staying on TV and in one time slot all these years is such an achievement, and it’s because of our fans. And thank you on behalf of Amber and myself, for keeping us in this competition!

As told to Christina Ciammaichelli

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