The three-time winner and partner Ricki Lake finished top of the leaderboard on Monday night's semi-final and also achieved their first perfect score of the season for their Argentine tango.
However, speaking to Access Hollywood backstage, professional dancer Hough said that he wasn't feeling any pressure to win.
"Last week was a good week for us but it kind of changed our mind state to 'we'll take the pressure off ourselves'," he said.
Hough continued: "Normally at this stage in the competition I'm like, 'We gotta win' and I feel this pressure, but I don't really feel that pressure this season. It felt nice tonight to enjoy it."
He added: "What's really nice is this has been such a winning season for me and Ricki already. She's in fantastic shape, we've gotten some amazing scores, we've had some memorable routines, and for me, being memorable is more important than winning."
Hough expressed similar thoughts in an interview with Ryan Seacrest on KIIS-FM, saying: "In the past seasons I've won, I felt more pressure to win and felt if I didn't win then I had dropped the ball.
"But this season I feel Ricki has accomplished so much already... Whatever happens with the outcome it will be a successful season."
Hough and Lake are battling Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke, JR Martinez and Karina Smirnoff and Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy for a place in the finale.
Hough previously won Dancing with the Stars with Brooke Burke, Nicole Scherzinger and, most recently, Jennifer Grey.
Dancing with the Stars continues tonight (Tuesday) at 9/8c on ABC.
> Derek Hough denies Maksim Chmerkovskiy feud
> Read Digital Spy's full Dancing with the Stars headlines
Listen to Derek Hough talking to Ryan Seacrest below: