03:55 PM EDT 09/16/2014

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Dancing with the Stars

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Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: 'This Season Will Be Very Surprising' | Karina Smirnoff

Dancing with the Stars

Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: 'This Season Will Be Very Surprising'

Originally posted 09/15/2014 12:00PM

Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, having won the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The pro dancer is now in her 16th season on the show, and will be blogging for PEOPLE about competing with actor and retired mixed martial arts fighter Randy Couture for season 19.

Preparations for this week have been going amazingly. I've been a fan of my partner, Randy Couture, for years. My dog, Randy Smirnoff, is named after Randy Couture! When I saw he was my partner, I was like, "Oh my gosh, my dad will be so excited." Randy's his favorite fighter, too.

Being an Olympic wrestler as well as an ex-soldier, Randy has discipline and dedication that are unbeatable. For a man of Randy's stature – he's tall, very muscular, very built – it's not the easiest thing to be light on the feet and to be a "twinkle toes." He's been working so hard and has made progress, and how much he's done since Day One is amazing. I'm very proud of him.

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Cheryl Burke Responds to Body Critics: 'My Curves Are Never Going Away'

Cheryl Burke Responds to Body Critics: 'My Curves Are Never Going Away'

Originally posted 07/17/2014 06:45PM

Cheryl Burke has found the sweet spot between embracing her curves and working to stay fit.

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What's Up with the Chemistry Between DWTS Champs Maks and Meryl? | Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Meryl Davis

Dancing With the Stars

What's Up with the Chemistry Between DWTS Champs Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis?

Originally posted 05/21/2014 06:55PM



There's no denying that Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Olympic gold medal ice dancer Meryl Davis have chemistry on the dance floor. All season long the Dancing With the Stars duo wowed the show's judges and viewers with one stellar performance after another.

As in-step as they are on the dance floor, it's their off-the-dance-floor connection that has folks wondering, "Are they or aren't they?" Or, in the case of DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who declared after the couple's emotional and soulful freestyle routine Monday night, "I think the two of you should get married."

That seems to be the general consensus among fans and colleagues, who experienced a gentler, kinder and more playful Chmerkovskiy this season. And humbler.

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Meryl Davis on Maksim Chmerkovskiy: He Pushes Me to Stand Up for Myself | Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Meryl Davis

Dancing With the Stars

UpdatePosted 05/19/2014 03:35PM

Meryl Davis on Maksim Chmerkovskiy: He Pushes Me to Stand Up for Myself

Originally posted 05/18/2014 11:55AM



Their chemistry on the dance floor is undeniable – and led to rumors that they are an item – but there's something even more special that bonds Dancing with the Stars frontrunners Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

They bring out the best in each other.

"I feel that I can really be myself with Maks," the Olympic ice skater, 27, tells PEOPLE. "He pushes me to stand up for myself, whether it's in real life or on the dance floor. It's cool."

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Credit: Andrew Southam
Candace Cameron Bure on Critics: I Know People Don't Agree with My Beliefs

Dancing with the Stars

Candace Cameron Bure: I Know People Don't Agree with My Beliefs

Originally posted 04/23/2014 02:45PM

Not everyone is going to agree with Candace Cameron Bure's evangelical Christian beliefs – and she's okay with that.

"As much as you want to try and explain your position to people, sometimes at the end of the day it is not worth it," the former Full House star tells PEOPLE. "I need to invest my time in my family and not trying to please everybody or getting them to see my own point of view."

As a contestant on this season of Dancing with the Stars, Bure, 38, has garnered praise and criticism for her conservative beliefs and her "boundaries" that have left her modestly clothed and with fully-dressed partners (even when pro dancer Mark Ballas wanted to show off his abs).

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Peta Murgatroyd Blogs: Cheryl Burke Returned James Maslow 'in Fine Form' | James Maslow

Peta Murgatroyd Blogs: Cheryl Burke Returned James Maslow 'in Fine Form'

Originally posted 04/14/2014 12:55PM

Former Dancing with the Stars champion Peta Murgatroyd performed with Charlie White in partner-switch week, but is now back with James Maslow of Big Time Rush after his stint with Cheryl Burke. In her PEOPLE bog, Murgatroyd looks back on the partner shakeup, and ahead to Disney week.

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Candace Cameron Bure Blogs: Pushing Past the Point of Exhaustion on DWTS | Candace Cameron, Mark Ballas

Dancing with the Stars

Candace Cameron Bure's DWTS Blog: 'Tonight Is Going To Be a Full House!'

Originally posted 03/31/2014 03:15PM

Candace Cameron Bure kicked off her career at age 10, starring on the popular series Full House. Since the show wrapped in '95, the actress got married, had three kids and wrote two books. She's been paired with two-time mirror ball-winning champ Mark Ballas for season 18 of Dancing with the Stars and she'll be sharing her experience with PEOPLE readers.

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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC
Candace Cameron Bure's DWTS Blog: 'My Footwork Is Jumbled' | Candace Cameron, Mark Ballas

UpdatePosted 03/24/2014 05:15PM

Candace Cameron Bure's DWTS Blog: 'My Footwork Is Jumbled'

Originally posted 03/24/2014 08:50AM

Candace Cameron Bure kicked off her career at age 10, starring on the popular series Full House. Since the show wrapped in '95, the actress got married, had three kids and wrote two books. She's been paired with two-time mirror ball-winning champ Mark Ballas for season 18 of Dancing with the Stars and she'll be sharing her experience with PEOPLE readers.

I can't believe Carrie Ann Inaba gave me a 9 on my first dance! Mark and I were ecstatic!

I guess the lights, the camera and the thrill of performing live gave me an extra boost that even Mark was surprised to see. I really did give it my all that night and was happy with my overall performance.

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Bill Engvall Booted on Monday's Dancing with the Stars | Bill Engvall

Dancing With the Stars

Bill Engvall Booted on Monday's Dancing with the Stars

Originally posted 11/25/2013 10:30PM



With Dancing with the Stars contestants in the final stretch of season 17, Monday night saw another couple sent home.

Just before a newly crowned champion will be named on Tuesday, Jack Osbourne, Bill Engvall, Amber Riley and Corbin Bleu battled it out for a shot at winning the coveted mirror ball trophy.

At the end of Monday's episode, Engvall and partner Emma Slater ended up with the lowest score – and were sent packing.

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Credit: ABC
Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: No Food, No Sleep – Just Practice

Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Blog: No Food, No Sleep – Just Practice

Originally posted 11/25/2013 05:00PM

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 has been blogging for PEOPLE about competing with former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in season 17.

I'm just enjoying this whole process. At this point, you can't control what's going to happen from anyone's side. The only thing we know is that we're having a blast and we're trying to figure out how to fit in all these dances. The workload this season is ridiculous. We've had to pretty much learn more than one dance per day.

We get nervous about the quality. How do you manage to work, polish and give great quality with such little time? So it's like you don't eat, you don't sleep, you don't use the bathroom. They say sleep is overrated. I respectfully disagree.

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