Maks has written a new blog for TV Guide getting us current on he and Melissa. He discusses their first dance and how nerves played a big part. He’s hoping Melissa will get more confident. He wants America to see their passion and know how much they are enjoying it. Lots more below and at TV Guide.
I thought Melissa did a great job on Monday. I agree with the judges, but at the same time, I don’t think we deserved a 6. Melissa has a lot of potential and the only way we can show it is if we get to stay on. I think Melissa is one of the greatest people I’ve ever met in my life. She has the combo of everything I look for in a partner. She and Kirstie are very much alike in that sense. Melisa is an incredible person just to be around. I want to stay on the show not just because I think she has to a lot to offer, but because I want to spend time with her. I did notice that she was a little hard on herself and therefore she stiffened up a little bit. Her personality didn’t shine through on the show. Everyone got to see the hard work she put in, but not the light, fun part of it. She’s doing an incredible job, but now we have to perform so American can see our passion and know how much we’re enjoying it. Most importantly, I just need Melissa to believe in herself as a contender. I want her to have that confidence and to go out, perform and say proudly, “I put in so much hours, I killed it and this what I get for it and I’m happy.”
Being the first show, nerves definitely played a part. I would say it was all nerves for Melissa. If I think she did something wrong during the routine, I would look into it and work on it, but she didn’t. I’m just trying to do my best to give her the best possible chance to do great. I gave her steps that I knew she could do. I think she might’ve put a lot of expectations on herself. She does have an uphill climb. She has to work hard to get her to the level of “Wow!” Some people may come out, do bump-and-grind and get a crowd reaction. Gladys came out and destroyed it! I loved it! Her routine wasn’t crazy hard, but she was so amazing because it was effortless. It was the last thing I expected. I expected her to have rhythm and to move, but she was incredible. The dancing was good, but it was a package of how unexpected it was and how much fun she’s having. I definitely think we can make it to the finals, but we have a lot of work to do first.
Next we have the quickstep, which we already finished during the three weeks before the show. Right now, we’re just running through it over again. I told Melissa that Wednesdays and Thursdays are not enjoyable. It’s the beginning stages. You’re blind. You just finished learning something and poof! You start from scratch again. The fun stuff is when you finish the routine and you see the light at the end of the tunnel and you say, “Oh, snap! I can do it!” It’s very challenging. We have to come out with a good routine and build quality.