Melissa Rycroft On Why She & Shawn Johnson Aren’t Dancing Rivals

Melissa Rycroft is heading into the finals of “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” next week, but in typical Melissa fashion, she’s not going into Monday’s competition hoping to finally beat out Shawn Johnson, who captured the Season 8 mirrorball in 2009.

“At this point, we are such good friends that we’re rooting each other on,” Melissa, who came in third during Season 8 (second place was taken by Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke), told Access Hollywood earlier this week. “I just saw Shawn [and I said], ‘I’ll see you in the morning.’

“At this point, when you make it to the finals, you’ve made it as far as you can go,” Melissa added. “You almost feel like the pressure’s off and now’s your time to have fun. Now’s your time to show off. Go and show what you can do that you don’t think anybody else in the competition can do. So, it’s fun.”

Melissa may not have won a mirrorball like her two finals competitors — Kelly Monaco and Shaw --, but she is the only competitor hitting the ballroom with her original partner.

In Season 1, Kelly (currently paired with Valentin Chmerkovskiy) competed with Alec Mazo, while Shawn (this season teamed with Derek Hough) originally hit the dance floor with Mark Ballas.

Melissa and Tony’s closeness has helped them throughout the season, but they have hit a stumbling block recently – the pro is injured.

“I’m on meds right now,” Tony told Access.

“I’ve been pretty heavily sedated,” he laughed, referring to the medication for his back injury. “I’m good…I’m powering through. It’s going to be — for us – it’s a celebration… We don’t have a trophy to lose, we have a trophy to win. So we just want to work as hard as we can and give the audience every reason to [vote for us].”

The “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” finals kick off on Monday at 8/7c on ABC.

-- Jolie Lash

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