Derek Hough Derek Hough

Hey everyone,

Thanks for your votes!

Woohoo! Finals! I can't believe we're here! Someone pointed out to me that this is my fifth straight final, which I didn't even realize. Holy crap! It's so surreal and amazing. I'm not really thinking about that though. I'm just focusing on Bethany and trying to give her the best material I can.

With the freestyle, I feel like I've covered a lot of bases before and it's like what's next? It's a sense of trying not to do something over and over again. I did the stripped-down contemporary with Kellie already. I've done the upbeat stuff. You can go with heart or a fun, lighthearted dance or something completely serious. With Bethany, I'm trying to figure out what the right thing for her is. What are her strengths and what's going to make her shine? So I've settled on telling her story. It starts off slowly and lyrically with beautiful shapes and beautiful lines. There will be other dancers as the dance builds to show her Motavators behind her. It signifies her life and strength. She's created her own brand and her own career — her own everything, really. When I look back at the season, I look back at the moments that showcase how tough and fierce she is, like the Argentine tango and paso doble. It's strong and it's a big song, like Inception. It'll be like Hans Zimmer is there!

The judges picked the jive, which was our first dance, for us to redo. We're adding 30 seconds and tweaking some things. I'm glad they picked something from early in the season because you can definitely see the growth in Bethany. We feel good so far. We'll have a fusion dance on Tuesday, but none of us know what's going on with that yet.

I was really bummed to see Tommy go. He's so awesome. I don't think he was upset. There's a sense of disappointment and a sense of relief. He did such a great job and exceeded everybody's expectations. I would've loved to have seen him in the finals, but I think we have a really strong, competitive final four. Alfonso versus the girls! I think Alfonso's doing better. I'm very familiar with that type of injury. That's kind of what I had two weeks ago. It's scary. I was talking to him about it. He's wanted to do the show for so long and he said, "There's no way I'm gonna let this injury stop me." I definitely appreciate that about him. He has someone working on him every single day, so I think he'll be OK.

Mark has a very, I guess different is the right word, freestyle. Only Mark Ballas could do this routine. Only he could commit to something like this. It's fun and Sadie's adorable. I'm very excited for everyone to see it. He's always outside the box. Sometimes they don't hit the mark — no pun intended — but when it does, it's fantastic. Janel and Val are going to play to her strengths. I think Janel, along with Alfonso, is the most natural dancer out of all of us left. All the freestyles are actually very different, so I think the final will be very interesting and entertaining. You definitely want a little bit of everything and you're definitely not going to mistake one for another! 

Thanks for reading! See you Monday!