Janel Parrish's 'DWTS' Blog: My Performance Last Week Was a 'Frenzied Blur'

"We're bringing a bit of older glam to a fun, young, contemporary song this week," says Parrish

Photo: Adam Taylor/Getty

Janel Parrish is best known for playing Mona Vanderwaal on the TV drama Pretty Little Liars. She’s been paired with pro Val Chmerkovskiy for season 19 of Dancing with the Stars, and she’ll be blogging for PEOPLE about her experience on the hit ABC show.

I think our first performance went really well! I wish I remembered more of it. It was kind of a frenzied blur because we were so nervous! We just needed to get through the dance, so once I got through it, I remember standing up in the sky booth and just being like, “It’s done? Wow, crazy!” You just do what you can to do it, and to do it as best as you can.

Ultimately we were happy with how we scored, and it gives us something to strive for. We want to strive for better scores next week.

In terms of the judges, I just love Bruno Tonioli. I love how enthusiastic he is and I really love it when he stands up because that means he’s excited about something, and when he’s excited, I’m excited. I loved his comments. They were my favorite of the night, especially the “spicy hot chili of a girl” comment. They just made me so happy.

I think last week’s top scorer, Alfonso Ribeiro, is amazing. He’s a master performer. He obviously can dance his booty off, and I love him.

Betsey Johnson surprised me with that cartwheel into a split! She has so much energy when she performs. She’s loving it, and that’s what’s fun to watch.

I think everybody’s amazing on this show. All the competitors have something to bring to the table. Taking myself out of it completely and just watching the show, I loved everybody’s performances.

Rehearsals for this week are going well, but I had to deal with my first injury! I just came down on my ankle wrong and it shot up a little pain up my leg. I think it’s going to be okay. Val didn’t seem too concerned. I think I’m a little more paranoid than he is just because it’s my first one.

Val and I just vibe well together. We just click together, and we both have a goofy side to us, but we also know when it’s time to get to work. He’s like a loveable teddy bear!

This week we’re doing the foxtrot. The dance itself is beautiful and we kind of made it a fun, young foxtrot. We made it very modern, so it’s going to be really cute.

I think the foxtrot is actually harder than the jive, because when we learned the jive we had three weeks to prepare, and now we have four days. I’m trying to learn the choreography as well as learning how to do the foxtrot, and I think that’s been the most difficult part for me. I have to be very put-together, very glamorous, very mature and elegant, so it’s completely different from last week’s jive.

The song this week is a very modern song, but we’re taking it back to masquerade times. When you hear the song, it kind of has a feel of a masquerade ball, so we’re bringing a bit of older glam to a fun, young, contemporary song. I think the mixture of the two is really beautiful!

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