Shawn Johnson, Mark Ballas
She's guest-starred on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, but Shawn Johnson's acting skills will really be put to the test on Dancing with the Stars Monday when she tackles the intense paso doble. "I'm a little nervous because I'm not a very angry person," Johnson tells TVGuide.com. Her work doesn't stop there as she also has the perky quickstep on her plate. See what else the Olympic champ has to say about her progress, who she's in a Twitter war with and what she thinks about injured stars getting judged on their rehearsals.
TVGuide.com: We have to talk about Tuesday night because you looked completely petrified.
Shawn Johnson: I was so nervous! Nobody knew what was going to happen. They said it was going to be the "most shocking elimination of the season," so everybody thought it could've been them. I wasn't ready to go yet, and I was scared. I've never felt that way before. But something about standing up there and waiting for your name to be called is scary. We were all standing up there practicing our goodbye speeches.
TVGuide.com: You have the quickstep and the paso doble next, which are polar opposites. Will it be a good showcase for you to be happy in one and dramatic in the other?
Johnson: I think so. I've never had the opportunity to be angry and aggressive, so hopefully I'll be able to pull that off. But getting into character is always fun. Mark is thinking of different ways to help me. He's still acting like a girl! [Laughs] I think the quickstep will be fine since it's just smiley and happy and lighthearted. The samba last week felt a little weird. They say it's kind of an awkward dance to begin with because of the movement and stuff — I didn't know how to act.
TVGuide.com: You said you have to work fewer hours because you're a minor. Were you worried about how that was going to affect you learning two dances?
Johnson: Yeah, I was. We're goofballs in the studio, but we use our time well, and we're really productive in practice. We don't really have a choice. I think we're good under pressure, and I don't think we're going to let it affect us. [Rehearsals] are good. We started with the paso and got most of that down before moving to the quickstep. Sunday is when we try to make everything perfect.
TVGuide.com: What do you think you still have to work on?
Johnson: I say the personality is the most important. It's hard for me to show the personality in every dance. I'm usually such a smiley and bubbly person, so I feel like if I can get through this week, I can overcome it all. We're working really hard and trying to make things perfect with the overall impression of the dance. We're working on getting three 10s and hopefully that'll come soon.
TVGuide.com: Last week was also tough because you lost Melissa in your team dance. Jewel said she thinks injured contestants should dance or pull out completely instead of being judged on a rehearsal. What do you think?
Johnson: It was such a last-minute thing. Melissa was fine up until right before we went on. Of course, it's not something you want to see happen, but if you're trying to compete the next week, I see it as being fair to give them a second chance. We're just glad Melissa's back and feeling better.
TVGuide.com: Whose idea was it to put the guys in leotards in your team dance?
Johnson: Everyone keeps blaming Mark, but it wasn't him! [Laughs] It was more something everybody wanted to do. We were throwing out ideas. I think it was actually Julianne who came up with it. I thought our team dance was amazing. Even though we didn't get the best scores for it, the crowd loved it and we just wanted to go out there and entertain them. That's what the whole competition is about.
TVGuide.com: I don't know if you saw or not, but during the team tango, Bruno sniffed Ty's sleeve that he threw on the judges' table.
Johnson: [Laughs] I saw it! Bruno's just a goofball and he does strange things, so you just have to laugh. I'm never going to be taking my outfits off, so I don't think it'll ever be an issue that he tries to smell something of mine!
TVGuide.com: I hear you're in a Twitter war with Chuck to get the most followers. Do you know you're losing by, like, a thousand right now?
Johnson: Oh yeah, he's beating me pretty good! [Laughs] It's a lighthearted thing we've got going on. Nothing real serious. You never know, hopefully I'll get to beat him. I'll get bragging rights — and that's it!
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