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Five-time Dancing With the Stars champ Derek Hough is already blogging up a storm on Season 18, which starts tonight (Monday, March 17).

In his his TV Guide blog, Derek shares his thoughts on new partner Amy Purdy, his take on DWTS "ringers," his reaction to his Season 7 partner Brooke Burke-Charvet leaving the show, and his speculation that people could use the new Switch-Up twist to sabotage each other ala Big Brother … although he doubts that will happen. (We’ll find out!)

Amy is a double amputee and Paralympic snowboarder and Derek went to Sochi with her to rehearse. "We didn't have rehearsal space over there," Derek explained. "We basically rehearsed in the lobby of the hotel with mirrors that only showed half our bodies. It was a makeshift rehearsal studio, but it was great."

He said Amy would train in the morning then travel down to where he was in the Olympic village to rehearse. "It's a lot of commitment,” he continued. “Usually when we've had Olympians, they were a month removed from the Games — like Meryl and Charlie now — but Amy has been training for both things simultaneously."

Things are even more challenging for Amy since she's dancing on prosthetic legs, and Derek said you get pressure points and it gets really sore. "There's no special dancing prosthetic. That doesn't exist. It's just her walking-around legs we're using at the moment. We've had to make adjustments after talking to her prosthetics maker. Amy's a pioneer in that area. She created her own snowboarding prosthetics because they're not really available in any market. The Cha-Cha's looking good. We were both unsure what was going to happen giving the timing of everything. The odds are stacked against us. You look at our situation and it's a challenge."

Yeah, but this is Derek. He's won more times than anyone and he just got an Emmy. If anyone needs a challenge on this show, it's him. He'll never really be an underdog. And Amy is still an athlete, it's not like she's Drew Carey or anything.

Still, Derek usually gets the kind of partner people call a "ringer," and he actually blogged a bit about that, since ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White seem to have that role this season.

"I'm excited to see Meryl and Charlie out there," Derek wrote. "I know people get upset about ringers and all this stuff. For me, looking at the show as a whole, which I always try to do, I think it's important that people that have ability are on the show mixed with people who aren't. If everybody were a complete beginner, I don't know what the standard would be like. I think it's good that there are people on the show that have experience and are good because that raises everybody else's standard. Plus, sometimes you think someone will be good, but they're having as much trouble as a non-ringer, so you just never know." He worked with Meryl and Charlie during the Olympics and calls them "the coolest and nicest people in the world," and he's just happy they're doing the show.

Read Derek's full blog for a lot more, including his thoughts on switching partners, which he admits he suggested to producers a few seasons ago.

Do you think the odds are really stacked against Amy and Derek? Do you agree with him that DWTS is better with a mix of people with ability and total beginners?

Source: TV Guide