I'm back! Hope you had a great summer!
First of all, I want to say a huge congrats to Tom for his Emmy win last night for reality show host. It's so well-deserved. There is truly no one else like him in the business!
Well, tonight's the big night! It's going to be a good one. We're all excited here. I am ecstatic to be with Kirstie again. I kind of knew I would be paired with her again. We're friends and we talk frequently, so when the All-Stars season came about, she was like, "Do you wanna do this? Do you wanna do this with me? I said, "Yeah, of course!" I have to say, I am happy I only have one partner back. I know a lot of you want Mel back, but the truth is, Mel was never going to be able to do it. She had prior commitments. I'm not upset that she couldn't come back. There's nothing to be upset about. She's doing her thing and I honestly don't know what I'd be like if I had two partners back and have to see one of them paired with someone else. I don't know how the other pros are doing it. You grow really attached to someone for three months and it's gotta be hard seeing them working with someone new now.
Kirstie deserves to be an All-Star. She's fantastic in so many ways. I know she's been saying she's been dancing since Season 12, but she hasn't! I've been calling her out on it. She definitely took to this whole dancing thing a lot more than probably most of the other celebrities have on the show. But after the show, she realized really quickly that without the element of time, this is a whole new ballgame. It's not the same. It's like building a sandcastle. You can have fun at your leisure. But imagine building a sandcastle with someone watching over you telling you have a minute left. It's her and me building the sandcastle together while the show dictates the rules. It's funny because in rehearsals, she's been saying, "What the hell was I thinking?" And I say, "After all the pain and bruises went away and you were no longer exhausted every day, you were left with a very positive experience from the show. After that, if anyone asks you how the show was, you say, 'It was amazing!' So when they come to you for All-Stars, you say, 'Of course!'" Maybe that's why we don't have any celebrities from the last two seasons — they haven't gotten enough distance from the show yet. It's still too fresh.
We're having fun. Kirstie's having fun, and that's all that matters to me. How ready are we? We are as ready as we'll be the day of the show. There's nothing more we can do. This season is the best of the best. Last season was arguably the best level we ever had. This is going to top that. We have so many former winners, so many finalists who probably should have won. There are people who won personality and some who won on skill. I told Kirstie, "You just gotta dance." The fact is, she can't compete with a 20-year-old. That's the truth. She's 61 years old. She just has to go out there and do her thing. What makes her happy is what she will show on the dance floor. We left off on a very positive note on how far she came last time, so now how much father can she go? Right now, she's at Week 7 or 8 from last season. I just want us to have fun and dance.
I know I made a lot of headlines over the weekend, which I thought was hilarious. We live in an age of illiterate news, if that makes sense. People read half an article, draw a conclusion and social media goes crazy without reporting the facts. I was asked what my plans were post-show and I answered honestly. I said after my contract ends in 2015, I won't re-sign. I just feel at that point, it's time to move on and explore new opportunities. It'll make sense for me and the show. We have amazing talent, as you've seen in the troupe, and it's a natural progression. The show will be in good hands.
I've also gotten a lot of questions regarding Hope's comments in her book, and I have nothing else to say on that topic anymore. I've moved on from that.
Lastly, I just want to give a big thank you to all of our students and Dance with Me supporters. I don't think I realized until this summer that we've create a huge family and I'm deeply humbled by it. Dance with Me was a fun project when we first conceived it, and now it's been eight years with multiple locations with an enormous amount of support from each of them. It's been amazing to read people's responses and hearing them tell me and Val and Tony how they've feel like they've become part of something bigger. I just want to say thank you to the staff and students. I feel it now more than ever. I know we have a lot of viewers, but I don't know them personally. When you come home and you have thousands of people show up to your studio, it's amazing. I feel the support now more than ever, so thank you.
That's all for now. Enjoy the show tonight!