Shawn Johnson On How Making The Dancing Finals Would Help Make Up For Missing Olympics

After missing out on the Summer Olympics, Shawn Johnson says a berth into the finals of “Dancing with the Stars: All Stars” would mean a great deal.

“The past few years I’ve gone through… devoting every ounce of my energy into a comeback at the Olympics and not making it,” she told Access Hollywood on Monday night after “DWTS,” referring to her exit before the games, when she retired due to her injuries.

“I kind of signed on to this to give myself that feeling of success again,” she continued. “I doubted myself after the Olympics that I could find that [feeling] in anything and if I can make it to the finale and do well, I will successfully have found that [feeling] again and I kind of need that.”

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After a Monday night score of 59 out of a possible 60 points, with partner Derek Hough, the athlete might be the only celeb who seems to be a shoe-in for the finals, but it was no easy road.

The pair’s first dance on Monday – a Bhangra, inspired by “Knight Rider,” was tough for both Shawn and her partner, three-time “DWTS” champ, Derek.

“For me I wasn’t sure if it was good. ‘Am I doing it right? Is this the way it’s done?’” Derek recounted. “I just have to thank [another dancer I know] — Damon, who showed me the fundamentals of the dance,” he said.

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Shawn was delighted with their score for the number.

“During the semifinal, it’s your last chance to show everybody why you deserve a shot in the finale and normally you take that opportunity to do a routine to show your capabilities. Given the Bhangra — to do that — was overwhelming at first,” she said. “But pulling it off and getting a perfect 30 was fun.”

Shawn and Derek earned a near perfect score for their two dances. In fact, they only lost one point on their Argentine tango from judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who felt Shawn’s performance missed an emotional connection to the routine.

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But the gymnast’s dad also had a critique of the number – his daughter’s skimpy outfit.

“Dad didn’t quite approve, but I thought it was hysterical,” she said.

“Rebellious Shawn,” Derek laughed.

“I am rebellious. Uh-oh, you’re wearing off [on me],” she laughed.

“Dancing with the Stars: All Stars” continues with a double elimination on Tuesday night at 8/7c on ABC.

-- Jolie Lash

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