"Maks is known to have no filter, so I'm quite looking forward to what he has to say," Smirnoff tells PEOPLE

By Karina Smirnoff
Updated November 18, 2013 04:05 PM
Adam Taylor/ABC

Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The longtime competitor is blogging for PEOPLE.com about competing with former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in season 17.

We have two dances this week, and they are really exciting. We almost wish the songs were longer. It’s really cool to find elements that connect the two dances – not just story lines, but within the choreography, the steps, the props, everything. Our second dance is a prequel to the first. It’s very exciting. They are dark and mysterious and dangerous.

Corbin and I were talking the other day about the shocking eliminations this season. Even after the first week, I think people had a certain idea of who they thought would be in the final four. Many of the couples who people thought may go all the way have already been eliminated. It’s a very unpredictable season.

Bill Engvall and Emma Slater are obviously not the best dancers in the competition, but they are so entertaining and relatable and they always make you smile. Their dances have elements that work for them. There is something that every single couple brings to the competition that the others don’t have.

I’m not really surprised, but I’m really excited that the ratings have been great and people keep watching the show and talking about it.

I don’t think having Maks [Chmerkovskiy] guest judge this week is going to be any more weird or less weird than having any other people guest judge. On the contrary, I think it will be interesting because he comes from being in our shoes. He comes from knowing what we need to do. Maks is known to have no filter, so I’m quite looking forward to what he has to say.

I think if he wants to be a fair judge and do a great job, he has to be fair. At this point, he has no agenda. His brother isn’t in the cast anymore. I can’t imagine him being subjective. If I were to judge, I would have to be objective, simply for the fact that I know how much work we all put in every single week. Out of respect for that, it only would be fair for the judging to be fair.

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