updated 10/21/2012 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/22/2012 AT 8:45 AM ET
Apolo Ohno is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 4 with Julianne Hough. The ice-skating Olympian will be blogging for PEOPLE.com about competing with Karina Smirnoff in the all-star season.
Karina loves hip-hop, but last week’s dance was challenging for her because she just doesn’t know that early ’90s era we danced to. If you weren’t in the United States at the time, it’s very foreign to a lot of people. For me, I grew up in it, so it spoke naturally to me. Our song was kind of junior high-ish – 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th grade. It was a lot of fun.
Our best dances are yet to come. And to be honest, last week’s incident with Karina’s fall is ultimately better for us in the long run, even though it was bad and we wish it would have never happened. It’s probably going to be the best thing that’s ever happened to us because it brought us closer and it allowed me and everyone else to see the side of her personality that shows she wants this bad and wants to do her best.
Going into this week and the following weeks, this has reignited a new passion and a new creative interest in her mind, as far as how she choreographs her dances, which I pay for daily, because she makes them very, very difficult.
There’s no elimination this week, but we’ll still be judged on these dances and they’re going to be cumulative with next week’s dance. This week is “Guilty Pleasures Week.” We’re doing Rick James’s “Give It to Me Baby,” which is awesome American funk. There are hilarious, ridiculous outfits.
I’m wearing a silk, leopard print shirt with white pants and white shoes. It’s very funky and old school. I’m trying to figure out how to do a big afro, but obviously my hair does not work that way, so we’re going to play with it.
The dance is the samba, the dance I got my first perfect score on, during week five with Julianne. So, for me, it’s significant. Now I want to show my true colors. Now I really want to bring it all out and lay it all on the line. I just want to have fun, play the theatrical role, play the moment and just really go out there and live it.
I want to show people why I love this song and why it speaks to me. This song is a true guilty pleasure, it’s hilarious. And if you watch the music video, it’s even funnier. Karina and I have been trying to watch it as much as we can.
I can’t control what happens at the end of the day. I can only control how hard I work and the hours that I put into the studio, so that I can go out there and give my absolute best every single time I step on the dance floor. What Karina and I learned from the hip-hop dance is: It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. We plan on finishing very strong.