Maksim Chmerkovskiy And Hope Solo On How They Made It Through The First Round Of Dancing With The Stars (Video & BLOG)

USSoccerDotCom caught up with Hope and Maks at a soccer game this week to ask them on Dancing With The Stars. Hope comments about how nervous she was before the show like she is before a soccer game. Maks said she wasn’t nervous, but, “very focused”. Her dress rehearsal was flawless, but, everyone came up to her afterwards and asked her if she ever smiles. It’s funny because Hope says her training for soccer helped her to concentrate on her dance Monday night, but, Maks quickly chimes for how different they are. This is “only the first round” (a warning of how tough things are going to get if they stick around). Maks talks of how great he felt with their performance as well. Hope says she really didn’t lighten up a little to dance until she talked to her soccer mates and friends right before she stepped out on stage. They ask her on her dress and she said Maks designed it (I LOVED HER DRESS, did you? It was my favorite!). They talk of how they are dancing the Jive Monday night, but, Maks says Week 3 is when things will get really interesting because all of the couples will only have 4 days to learn a dance. That’s when we’ll find out who will stay and who will go. Great interview!

Thanks to DWTSSeason13 at Facebook for this video!

Maks has also written a new blog at TV Guide. He talks of he and Hope’s dance last week. He also prepares us for their upcoming Jive and tells us his thoughts on some of the couples. Below is a take. For the full blog, be sure to see the link.

We started the jive prior to the premiere, so we should be good. I’m very happy about the way it’s going right now. I think the biggest challenge with Hope is not just learning the routine, but she needs to learn how to act it out. I know she’s not used to acting and faking it — which is what acting is. I want her to know it’s not bad faking it, like you’re not being true to yourself. It’s part of a performance. If you want to be the best at it, then you have to do certain things to make you the best at it. Acting is part of it.

I thought everyone did great this week. I’m super happy for Val. Congratulations to him for his debut! I was worried about him and Elisabetta. She’s awesome, but she did get a little stiff. Hopefully she will take all the positive things out of this show and use it to her advantage in the second week. I think the quickstep will be a better dance for them and they’ll both learn from the first week. I think Val has a difficult job because Elisabetta is fairly new to this country. Fan base-wise, they’ll probably have a more difficult time. Everybody else on the show has a following here. I went on a campaign Monday night to rally some of my troops to help Val and Elisabetta out and I’m extremely grateful because I think they did a tremendous job keeping both of us on the show. Obviously, I’m first and foremost focused on Hope, but the longer Val stays, the more fun we’ll have. I just want to enjoy the process. I think if audiences embrace her and give her a chance, they will see a lot of growth. Having said that, it’s also a matter of how well they do and how they sparkle and shine. I think they have potential. Val is phenomenal. I’m his biggest fan. They did an awesome routine. I thought the bed idea was hilarious. I loved his respond to Tom Tuesday: “I just wanted to take my shirt off and get in bed.” I love it!

Carson’s performance was also great. He’s very cool. He’s a bit partial toward me and I gave him a shoulder rub. He’s just perfect for this show. He’s super funny, very witty, very clever, very entertaining, and what else do you need from a celebrity on Dancing with the Stars? You want a celebrity who’s secure with themselves, is not afraid to put up a performance, has performing qualities, and does their own thing. And that’s him. I’m not going to lie — and this may come off as me patting myself on the back — but I’m flattered because you have Nancy Grace going, “You’re not Maks,” to Tristan and Carson talking about me, and I’m so honored by that. It really does make me feel like dance is making it higher and higher. I’m still true to my trade. I’m not trying to be the center of attention at all, and I think getting recognized by such people like these is a huge responsibility, but also a huge honor. I’m blessed and having fun.