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Dancing with the Stars

DWTS Dark Horse Nick Viall: I'm Still Here — and Maks Chmerkovskiy Is My Secret Weapon Heading into Double Elimination

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Nick Viall is feeling “very excited” about continuing his journey on Dancing with the Stars — but he knows the stakes are getting higher.

“It’s one more week. I’m still here,” he says in a PEOPLE exclusive vlog ahead of Monday’s live show, which has a “Night at the Movies” theme and is admittedly “going to be” Viall’s “favorite night so far.”

Reflecting on last week, the former Bachelor star admits that the men’s strategy in week six (“Boy Bands vs. Girls Groups”) to focus on “entertainment value rather than technical dancing paid off” and saved all them from facing jeopardy.

Still, Viall recognizes that just because someone is a great dancer doesn’t mean that they’re guaranteed to continue in the competition.

“I think after seeing Heather [Morris] go home, knowing how great of a dancer she is, you just never know,” admits Viall, 36. “It was definitely a bummer to see Maks [Chmerkovskiy] go home. He’s been such a huge help to me.”

“You just never know with this competition how fans are voting,” adds Viall.

But now that Chmerkovskiy is out of the competition, he has a little bit more free time on his hands — and has been lending it to his fiancée, Peta Murgatroyd, and Viall!

To help prepare Viall and Murgatroyd for Monday’s action-themed Argentine tango, Chmerkovskiy “made use of his time now that he’s off the show” in joining the duo during rehearsals, says the season 21 Bachelor.

“He’s been so cool and so helpful,” Viall adds. “I’m lucky to have Peta as a partner. And even lucky now with Maks being off the show, he’s been willing to help the both of us. Hopefully it pays off!”

With Monday’s live competition just hours away, Viall realizes that he must face a dance off — and the threat of a double elimination.

“Certainly a lot to handle with having to learn basically four dances this week. That makes it really challenging,” he says, adding, “Either way, it’s been so much fun. It would be amazing if Peta and I survive. I’m just really looking forward to tonight.”

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