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Mischa Barton's Dancing with the Stars Blog: Artem Can Be a Really Harsh Critic – but I Like It!

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Former O.C. star Mischa Barton is blogging about her experience on Dancing with the Stars‘s 22nd season exclusively for PEOPLE.com. Follow Barton and her partner Artem Chigvintsev on Twitter!

Last week was a worst-case scenario for DWTS and working with Artem and me. The judges were not feeling our tango at all. But Artem had prepared me for that kind of feedback – maybe a little too much.

Artem is very serious in rehearsals – with Russian being his first language, I have a hard time telling if he doesn’t understand my jokes or he just doesn’t think they’re funny – but at first he was very careful with how he gave me criticism.

Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev
ABC/Craig Sjodin
But once I told him I could handle a tough critique, he definitely did not hold back. I respond well to criticism, but there is a balance between criticism and support that we are still working to find.

I do wonder if Artem constantly preparing me to hear the worst from the judges sort of willed their feedback into being.

That said, I totally understand their criticism.

Our tango was a very serious and isolating routine and what we are doing on the show didn’t really kick in for me until we stepped out in front of that live audience last week. As a professional dancer, Artem is all about being in the dance studio. But as an actor, I had to wrap my head around the fact that this is a performance and we are putting on a show just like we would if we were performing a play.

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I’m excited for Latin week tonight because we are doing a cha-cha-cha. It’s a bright, fun dance and I’m excited to get to show off that side of my personality.

I also think it will help us get better scores because this routine is a lot more engaging than our tango. Hopefully the judges will be able to appreciate our smiley, happy dance and not have to focus as much on posture and other details that were way more noticeable during last week’s dance.

I know I’m never going to be a professional ballroom dancer. So for me, this experience is about having as much fun as possible. I got to pick our song this week and I love getting to have a say in what we wear. And I love that I’m picking up the routines faster and faster.

I just hope that comes across tonight because I’m having a blast.

Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.