11/09/2009 at 12:00 AM EST
and his partner Debi Mazar
may have been voted off Dancing with the Stars
weeks ago, but the pro has been keeping an eye on the competition and has a message for fan favorite Mya
as the competition moves into the homestretch.
"Mya needs to step it up because she has been a frontrunner the whole time and now she's kind of 'pfft,'" he told PEOPLE Saturday at the 2009 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
"It's a marathon and not a race," Chmerkovskiy says of the show. "We still have two more weeks to go and those are the ones that count."
He suggests keeping an eye on the dancers who may not always be at the top of the leader board. "Someone like Donny Osmond
, who is staying under the radar will definitely step up," he says. "Everyone needs to come back out there. Joanna Krupa
was doing amazing so far, so I think Mya needs to get a second wind."
Despite his take on Mya, Chmerkovskiy said he doesn't have a favorite. In fact, "I don't care who wins. I'm cool with anybody," he said. "I just want the best representative for ballroom dancing to win."
Chmerkovskiy's reason, though, may not be what you think: "It's important to me that whoever wins actually is the better dancer so that way I don't have to fly around answering questions about how unfair the show is." --Nina Tyler