updated 04/28/2014 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/28/2014 AT 2:15 PM ET
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 is blogging for PEOPLE about competing with Big Time Rush band member James Maslow during the show’s 18th season.
I think James did an amazing job last week. The quickstep is really hard, and we had the added pressure of coming off a perfect score the week before. It’s difficult to get 10s every week, so we were aiming for eights and nines, and we got all nines and one eight so I was happy with him. He did the best that he’s ever done.
Coming off the perfect score added pressure during the week, but it’s only because you’re learning a completely different style the next week. I’ve been teaching him all these contemporary moves, and then the next week you throw them out the window. That’s what’s frustrating, because there’s really nothing that he can take with him that I’ve taught him, so it s like starting fresh again each week.
Rehearsals are going really well this week. We’ll be performing a samba and a team dance. Ricky Martin’s coming this week, and it’s going to be really exciting because it’s Latin week, so we have the perfect judge.
We’re dancing to a very sexy samba song. We have a little hip-hop section at the start, which is cool, and then we break into samba for the rest of the dance, so it’s going to be exciting. Some layers of clothing might come off! James is excited about the routine and we have some great costumes this week.
We’re just trying to have fun and impress the judges every week and show that we are improving. James tries so hard with his technique. He’s putting in so many hours to lock in the technique, and samba is – for me and for most people – the hardest Latin dance. I think he’s dealing with it really well, but yet there’s definitely some pressure.
James and I are always there for one another, and we try to do activities outside of rehearsals as well to keep things fun. We go to the movies, we get dinner, we get lunch. Work is work – when we’re in rehearsals, we’re working six to seven hours, and then we can go and do what we like, so it’s a good balance of both. We have a great level of respect and discipline when we’re in the studio, and we just like to get work done.
The couples that are left are all really good, so I don’t even know – obviously I don’t want to go home – but I don’t know who would go home this week. I think everyone’s going to give it their best go!