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Dancing With the Stars pro Derek Hough has teamed up with OK! to update you every week as he attempts to turn his partner Nicole Scherzinger into a ballroom champion!

Hi, everyone, and welcome to week four of my OK! DWTS blog! Last night, Nicole and I performed the rumba. I was very pleased with the performance.

The judges said Nicole was nervous and hesitant and gave us 50 out of 60 points, good for second place. But I think the judges were really hard on everybody overall. It was really interesting how we were evaluated on technique and performance last night, with two separate scores.

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Nicole showed her natural flexibility and control in the dance. For me, I take the scores with a pinch of salt because I know what is good and what isn’t myself. I think the scores are a good guideline. The judges are almost like parents, saying, hey, that was really good but you know what? You can do better. I want to see more. They’re encouraging you.

Dancing with Nicole is feeling so fantastic and I’m working so hard with her. We’re in there six or seven hours a day, not just when the cameras are there. It’s not easy. The hours are definitely being put in. She’s open and willing to do anything.

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Last night, the judges were right — Nicole WAS quivering and nervous. Rumba is one of the hardest dances on the show. It shows everything. You’re completely exposed and vulnerable and it’s interesting for me to see Nicole, this superhuman singer, a little anxious. You saw in her face during the scores it really got to her — for judge Carrie Ann Inaba to confront her about being nervous—it was like, whoa, somebody just touched on my insecurity in front of millions of people. It was really scary for Nicole.

After the show, we talked about it — she told me, “I was scared,” and I’m like, “It’s okay, this is why you’re here, for people to see you like a human being.” And I reminded her, “By the way, you still gave a phenomenal performance.”

I always have to remember I’ve been on the show six seasons but for Nicole, it’s the first time she’s faced pressure like this.

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During rehearsals, though, Nicole and I continue to goof around to stay loose. She’s extremely tired because the moves we do kick our butts. To keep things light, we joke so much —  we make up songs, sing together in the studio. I’m trying to sing opera to make her laugh because she’s a trained opera singer. We just have a good time.

Until next week,

Derek

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