Craig Sjodin/ABC
Peta Murgatroyd
April 21, 2014 01:05 PM

Peta Murgatroyd is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 14 – only her second season on the series – with Donald Driver. The Australia native will blog for PEOPLE about competing with Big Time Rush band member James Maslow during the show’s 18th season.

Last week’s perfect score was totally awesome. I couldn’t have been prouder of James. Everything just worked out. The lifts weren’t working out during the day at dress rehearsal and I really pushed him to the limit that week and stepped up the choreography. We nailed that dance. It was so much fun.

I think James is really talented and I need to keep working him really hard and can’t have him sit back with easy choreography. I feel like we kind of had a breakthrough last week with combining the emotion and the technique. I think James was great at contemporary, but we really need to focus on the ballroom dances.

We have quickstep this week, and I just need to make sure we keep nailing the character of every dance and we keep having fun and showing the judges that we are comfortable improving our technique and just not sitting back going for a ride. The judges want to see an improvement in James’s frame.

We’ve been trying to improve so hard this week, and I think if we keep going with all of this and keep having fun and showing how much chemistry we have on the dance floor, then fingers crossed we’re going to make it to the finals. I absolutely believe in us and that we can do it. We’ve trained so hard. We’re in it to win it. We don’t want to come in second. We want to win it.

This week, we have a great party anthem song. It’s one of the best hits of every party that you go to. When it comes on, everyone’s going to be jumping up and dancing. But because it’s quickstep, we have to stay in hold. Although we’re going to have fun and play characters, we’ve still got to have technique.

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