Paying tribute to Michael Jackson
I’ve been in jeopardy the past two weeks, so knowing I was safe and knowing I was going to the finals just made doing the dances easier and a lot more enjoyable. I was nervous because at the beginning of the day I could barely walk. I had bad food poisoning the night before and I knew I would tough it out as best I could. When you’re sick, you’re sick. I was nervous about performing, especially the Michael Jackson number because I really wanted to do that song justice.
It was one of the biggest honors in my life to perform a brand-new Michael Jackson song. I think I was more nervous doing the cha cha [than the rumba] because I didn’t want to screw it up. It was a big honor, but it was also a lot of pressure, I think I did well. I know I’m the hardest person on myself, and I know there are a couple things I would have liked to hit harder and stronger, but I think it turned out well and I’m proud of this dance.
It was very nice to get another perfect score. I was ecstatic. I think it just gave me more motivation and confidence to keep going and believe in myself in terms of being a real competitor in these finals.
Saying goodbye to Charlie White
I was surprised that Candace and I were both safe and that these three amazing dancers were standing there in the red light. It was a relief too because I’ve been there and it’s not fun. It shows that this show is a combination of the score and the fan vote. I think there’s something to be said of Candace and myself, that we’re continuing to get better each week. I see that in her and I’d like to think I’m taking the judges’ advice, working harder, and getting more dance experience under my belt each week.
I was bummed and I know Peta was bummed [that Charlie was eliminated]. Sharna was probably Peta’s favorite dancer of the whole bunch. They’re all friends and those two are very close. I think it’s fair to say that Charlie has been the most supportive competitor, not just to me, but to everybody. I know he’s enjoyed the whole experience. We’ve had great conversation and every time before I’m about to perform, he’s always got the same positive energy and smile. He’s the kind of competitor I like to be around.
Making it to the finals!
We’re both really excited. Peta is ecstatic because it’s only the second time she’s been in the finals. The only other time was in her second season with Donald [Driver] and she won it. So it’s a familiar feeling for her, but she’s also that much more nervous. I’ve literally put blood, sweat, and tears into this competition and making it all 10 weeks is rewarding. We’re going to give it everything we’ve got because at this point there’s just no turning back.
Being in these finals is such an honor for me because everyone is so talented. I think Amy has a huge advantage being paired with Derek. He’s very creative with her and making what they do incredibly sharp. Meryl is an incredibly strong dancer and has the technique as an ice skater that’s obviously transitioned well to the dance floor with her and Maks. And Candace has constantly been progressing, and I think America loves seeing that. It’s really hard to say who the biggest competitor is, I guess Meryl, just in terms of dance ability.
You can read the rest of James’ blog over on Parade.com!