"It's just a massive send off that really encompasses the partnership," the pro says of Monday night's finale dance

By Peta Murgatroyd
May 19, 2014 04:00 PM
Craig Sjodin/ABC

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 was rather stressful for both of us. In our Michael Jackson number, everything was sort of coming together, but then on the day we were doing our walkthrough with the band and our dress rehearsal, they took our stage away.

We had a catwalk and a round stage and they took that away because they realized they couldn’t get it up in time. So all week long, we were practicing and had marked out the floor and width and depth and stuff and used choreography that would fit the catwalk.

I was freaking out because we had to now do the cha cha on the floor and it wouldn’t look as good, but we got through it and got a perfect score! We were so excited about that because we had gone through a rough day. That was awesome. We were so stoked.

I thought James really pulled off those Michael Jackson moves too, like Carrie Ann said. I was so proud of him, I thought he was so good. Our rumba was great too. We got all 9’s for that and I thought it was beautiful.

I definitely took into consideration his hands that the judges were talking about and so we’re going to fix those, but actually this week we have the freestyle and the tango, so we don’t have to concentrate on the fluidity of his hands.

This week, we’re aiming for high energy. Freestyle is all about the last dance. It’s the last chance to show America what he can do. It’s about your journey and it has to be one big party.

I’m so psyched to show you what we’ve got. We have a cute story line to go with it and it’s just going to be really badass. It’s going to be hard-hitting, and I want everybody to get off their feet and dance to this. It’s going to be really awesome. I love the freestyle dance. It’s just a massive send off that really encompasses the partnership. I want to rock the house on Monday night.

The nerves just sunk in this morning when I woke up and finished our pro rehearsal. I got butterflies in my stomach just thinking about the finals on Tuesday. If we make it on Tuesday, I haven’t been in the finals since I was with Donald Driver and won, so I haven’t had this feeling in such a long time. It’s crazy but I’m super excited as well. I can’t wait to be there.

I’m sure James will be super nervous on the day, but we’ve had some frustrating times this week. We’re trying to put so much in there and I’ve given him quite a difficult tango to do as well, so there’s a lot of content in the tango. He’s pulling out all the tricks and stops for the freestyle.

It’s coming together but we’ve definitely had that frustrating moment like, “Are we doing too much?” But at the end of the day, it’s about us and our journey. We’re just so psyched to be in the finals.

James is the last man standing, so it’s a pretty cool opportunity for him to go up against three girls in this finale. A guy celebrity hasn’t won Dancing with the Stars since I won with Donald Driver in season 14. I think it’s about time that a guy won!

DWTS Rehearsal: James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd