Below is Maks’ first TV Guide blog for Season 13! He talks of Hope and their first dance. He describes how Hope is doing in a deeper way. He talks on Val as well. Here is a take, but, be sure to see TV Guide for the full blog. I especially love what he says on Chaz too at the end!
I know a lot of people are picking us as early favorites. That’s very flattering to hear, but the reality is that there are lots of potentially great dancers. And it’s not just about dancing. It’s a combination of the work ethic, the dedication and the connection with fans. Everything has to come together. Hope’s giving me everything that I want. All I want is her undivided attention and then it’s on me to me to bring out the best in her.
Hope is doing great! We have the Viennese waltz and it’s coming along well. We’re running through with the music now. She’s impressed me so much and the question really is: What’s not impressive about her? She walks in as the best goalkeeper on the planet and to be that good at what she does, she has to possess certain qualities, but she also had to develop certain physical attributes. She’s muscular and tough and very stocky — I mean that as the best compliment possible for a soccer player and not as a derogatory comment. She’s fit and sharp. She prides herself on that and on being the best. But what makes her an amazing goalkeeper is making it difficult for her to dance. She has to move now! What impressed me the most about her was that I walked into the room a couple days later and she’s in a skirt doing the Viennese waltz. She is into it and giving it her all and is improving every day. I hope we do well the first week, but I don’t want people to have the idea that she was always great. I can picture people going, “We predicted you would be good, so this is not surprising.” But the fact is that nobody saw the beginning stages. I’m lucky I get to witness certain things and her progress that people don’t because they’re not in rehearsals with us.