DWTS Season 11, Week 7 – Blogs, Interviews, and More!

How is everyone today? I hope all is well in your land and mind of dance for whatever form that is in. :D

First up for today is a new blog from Mark in his Journal at USA Today where he writes in being exhausted, their dance this week, and what’s coming up. Here’s a take from it.

Everyone on the show is so tired and stressed. The mood backstage was pretty relaxed Tuesday night. That’s partly due to the exhaustion from the grueling schedule and partly due to the fact that everyone is doing very well recently and is at peace with their fate. If you do your best and score well, but still go home, you can sleep well knowing that you did your very best, left it all on the dance floor and have no regrets because it wasn’t meant to be.

For this next week we have two dances, but I only know one of them as of right now. First up: the Argentine Tango. Bristol should do well with this step because she likes these kind of dances, which are aggressive, serious and sexy.

Unlike this past week, our second dance is an individual, not with the group. But I don’t know what that one is yet, so I’ll have to tell you this weekend. Again, two dances equals twice as difficult. Just taking the time to learn two dance steps, let alone getting them ready for competition, requires a lot of time management. But we’ll pull through.

On Thursday I get a nice treat. Bris and I are taping a segment of Ellen, which will air on Monday. We’re actually going to perform our Tango on her show, which we did very well with two Mondays ago. You know, the dance we got the Tuesday encore for. That should be fun, especially because I love Ellen DeGeneres. I’ve been on her show four times previously. Ellen’s one of my all-time favorite people. I’d love to dance with her on DWTS! Who do we have to talk to about making that happen?

In case some of you missed Brandy’s blog posted on Tuesday, here is an excerpt from it where she writes on her challenges in dancing the Fox Trot and more. Be sure to read more at Access Hollywood.

Maks and I continue to grow even stronger as a duo and this week’s learning of the fox trot is no exception. It’s a very iconic dance and I am truly inspired by our song choice for this dance.

Our second dance has been a little more strenuous.

As you may or may not know, this week I will be a part of “Dancing’s” historic 200th episode (Congrats “DWTS” and ABC) and they’re mixing things up a bit.

We have a team dance and I’ve been chosen along with my fellow stars Jennifer and Kurt to be a part of TEAM APOLO.

The dance is very eclectic and even includes a bit of hip-hop in it, so this part of the learning curve has been a little easier for me than weeks past. It’s very cool to be on the team with Jennifer and Kurt as our trailers are next to each other and we are very supportive of each other as the weeks go by.

I must mention how excited I am to have been chosen by former “DWTS” winner Apolo to be a part of this TV-history making dance!

He’s been a great leader and cheerleader and it’s good to get the chance to work with my fellow stars this week. With that said, Maks is still working to get the best of out of me from week to week and the aches and pains have now sort of dulled into something more manageable for me.

Not that I still don’t find new muscles developing and aching, but I am getting more confident with the quick-learning of the choreography and the feeling that I absolutely have a chance of taking home the mirror-ball trophy! My focus on learning the techniques and then honing the moves so that I am graceful and flow well with Maks is finally beginning to pay off.

I can feel the audience (both in the studio and at home) cheering me on and I always try to dance for the fans.

Erin Andrews had some opinions on this week’s show. Here is a take from a new interview at Movie Line. I liked what she said on Kyle. There have been times I thought he would get lost between some of the couples this year. But, he hasn’t. Just when you think he might, there he and Lacey are making themselves known with a powerhouse and unforgettable performance. Be sure to read the link for more.

Onto the dancing: What did you make of the group numbers? The judges scored both teams closely, but I thought Apolo Ohno’s team was far better.I think the way the groups were divided — and Len said this too — he thought the group that Cheryl, Rick, Mark, and Bristol were in would be the underdogs. Because the other group was a powerhouse — with Maks and Derek. But I thought honestly that both groups were really, really good. I know Evan was surprised with the second group’s beating out the first. The first group was a get-out-of-your-seat, jamming-out thing. And the second group? They were good technically, they had the strongest dancers of the whole competition, but — I’m so biased, I’m rooting for Maks non-stop. Last year in our group dance we lost, so I’m glad that Maks’s group was the winner this time around.

Also: What was Kristi Yamaguchi thinking when she picked Bristol Palin first in her group? I was so confused. She needed Brandy on her team.You never know with Dancing with the Stars what’s going on behind the scenes. You don’t know if maybe she was told that’s what was happening. So it’s hard when you look at it and it’s like, “Huh. That’s weird.” But something may have happened behind the scenes where [producers] had said, “This is who we want you to pick. This is what we want you to do.” So I don’t know going into it if it was a preconceived bit there.

I mean, I know Kristi was partnered with Mark Ballas when she won her season. Would that have affected things?That’s a good point. Maybe she knew he’s such a good choreographer.

I was also confused when Kelly Osbourne and Gilles Marini judged performances and didn’t give 10s like the other former cast members. I mean, they were there to boost morale, not hand down real scores, right?Again, you don’t know what happened behind the scenes. When Kelly and Gilles’ group came up, someone else gave a ten, right? You don’t know the conversations that happen, like, “You can’t all just give out tens.” I don’t know if those scores were for real.

Which of the individual dances did you love?I have to tell you, and obviously I’m always loving on Maks and saying what a great job he and Brandy do, and I will do that again, but I really love Kyle. I hope the voters are taking notice of Kyle, and I think he and Lacey are doing such a fabulous job. The choreography is always so dead on. The costumes are great. His little bit before the dance was hysterical, when he was trying to channel Maks with the painted-on abs and everything. That was so funny. Like I said, he’d have fit in with me and Evan on season ten. The cast is not silly this year! I thought Brandy and Maks did a wonderful job; she’s kind of got the inner — not diva, but — she’s got that inner sexuality; she’s a hot woman. You could tell she was focused and she really wanted to get back from where she was last week, from losing control. And I thought Rick and Cheryl did a great job too! That’s why I’m kind of surprised with the whole outcome.

Oh, we’ll get to that. But quickly, a word about Kyle: I don’t think the judges give him enough credit for really “selling” some of the dances.I love him because he’s so entertaining. I really hope the voters see that. Kyle, I worried, would get lost in the mix with the two athletes, the two great dancers, and, like, “Oh, yeah, there’s that kid Kyle.” He’s hilarious and hysterical, and he’s a baby. He’s working so hard to compete with these adults.

Now, Rick and Cheryl: Describe your feelings about their elimination.I’m shocked. I really am. I think again heading into this week you had thoughts about who would go home, and it wasn’t Rick and Cheryl for me at all. He’s been getting better every single week! I don’t know if it’s a situation where he just didn’t have the votes. It’s funny, when you talk to people that I did inside with the show, you say, “How did Audrina go home?” And it’s like, well, can Audrina [appeal to] middle America that doesn’t know The Hills? The demographic that watches this show knows Jennifer Grey from Dirty Dancing, they all love Maks and Derek, so they’ll cheer for them, and they all know Bristol Palin. I’m wondering if Rick fell into the same category with the two athletes. But it kind of surprises me because — I love Kurt and cheer for him, but when you put the two athletes together, everyone loves Rick because he’s this exotic, tall, good-looking guy. I was concerned that Kurt wouldn’t get as many votes. He’s a gorgeous guy, he played for the Lakers, but I guess America really appreciates that this is a little bit of a struggle for Kurt. He’s really trying to learn and get better. But it’s all still very confusing to me. I don’t get it. They didn’t deserve to go home this week.

Here is fascinating interview with Extra with Jennifer, Derek, and her doctor (Dr. Robert Bray) on her spine and her thyroid. I love how her doctor explains what she’s been through and how he gave her his support to dance.

Here is a snippet from a new interview with Maks in “In Touch” Magazine.

“Growing up in the USSR, we didn’t have much,” Maks tells In Touch in an exclusive interview. One thing he did have was a gift for dance, although his talents weren’t always appreciated by others; like many teens, the young Maks was constantly picked on by cold-hearted classmates. “I encountered bullying when I came to the U.S. I was not popular at all,” he solemnly recalls. “There was the usual sexuality-related stuff, people calling me gay. When I’d say I danced, people would act like I was diseased. I was beaten up. It hurt and was very upsetting.” The reality star refused to give up his passion, with encouragement from his family. “I had an amazing support system. My parents told me that if you believe in what you do, you can prove people wrong with your success,” he says. Now, still a hot contender on the ABC dancing competition show’s eleventh season with partner Brandy, Maks is getting the last laugh.

For never-before-seen personal photos and Maks’ advice on how to ‘rise above bullies’, check out the latest issue.

Ok, that is all we have for you for now!! I leave you with DWTS ‘Quote of the Day’ from Season 8;

Gilles on the semi-finals: “I looked pretty smooth on the outside, but the truth is, on the inside I died three times and fainted twice.”