Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas
Last Monday's Dancing with the Stars was a tough one for Aly Raisman, not just because she flubbed a move in her samba, but because the Needham, Mass., native performed hours after the Boston Marathon bombings. (Her family and friends are OK.) "It was really difficult," she tells TVGuide.com. "I just want to say that I love everyone back home from Boston. You're all in our thoughts and prayers. Mark [Ballas] and I tweeted a picture of us making a heart. We're all thinking about you. I'm so sorry that this happened. My heart goes out to everyone who's affected. Hopefully I can do well for them. I want to do this for Boston."
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With team dances this week, Raisman will perform twice, first the foxtrot and then the Team Samba with Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd, and Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess. See what they have up their sleeves and more:
You lucked out being on Team Samba since you just did it.
Aly Raisman: Yeah, I'm happy I'm on Team Samba. I'm comfortable with it now. It's also Sean and Andy's dance this week, so Kellie's the only one who has to learn it and learn another dance. I think it's really good because I already know how to do it, two of us are learning just that one style, and Kellie's really good at picking up new dances. I'm really excited. I love everyone in my group.
Do you guys have a theme?
Raisman: We do have a theme, but it will be a surprise. We had a really fun group rehearsal Tuesday after the show. I was so hyper. We were all delirious. We didn't have that much time to rehearse. Derek, Mark, Peta and Sharna had such great ideas. Then you have me, Sean, Andy and Kellie sitting there, watching them and then fooling around in the back, making up random dances. But we did come up with something and we got a little rehearsal done. It's a lot harder with two dances because just doing one dance for me is difficult, but I'm up for it.
You have the foxtrot, which is a little similar to the quickstep.
Raisman: Yeah, it's just slower. It's going well so far. I like having two completely different styles to do for the judges. And it's Stevie Wonder Week, so that's really cool. I'm a huge fan of his. I don't know who isn't a fan of him. The song that we have is really beautiful. It's my favorite song by him, and Mark loves the song too.
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Now that you've done a few Latin and ballroom dances, do you have a preference?
Raisman: Hmm. It's different. The Latin dances are really fun and really cool, and it's exciting to go out there and move around and perform. But I think I'm more comfortable doing the ballroom dances. I'm not a shy person, but it's more nerve-wracking when you have to go out there and shake it.
Ballroom's more structured.
Raisman: Yeah, exactly. I like that more, but I am having fun with the Latin ones.
Your samba was pretty good. How did you feel out there?
Raisman: I felt good. I'm happy with it. I really tried to let it all out there. And practicing with Witney [Carson] and Tony [Dovolani] was extremely helpful. I don't think it would've gone as well without them. Witney really helped me a lot.
What happened with your flub in front of the judges?
Raisman: I just went a little bit early, so my timing was off. That was the first time I messed up, but I wasn't upset about it. I'm human; I make mistakes. Hopefully it won't happen again. I'm still pleased with the scores. We got good scores despite that. The samba was a very difficult dance for me. I still think I made an improvement from the last week. I'm really putting myself out there more. I'm trying to perform and trying to engage with Mark more. ... Even competing at the Olympics, it's not like everything I did was perfect. It's just about working through it. It's hard when you can't stop and pull yourself together.
We saw Jacoby [Jones] messing with you with the blowhorn. What other antics have gone down?
Raisman: The other day, I was just walking to trailer and Jacoby came right behind me and put a blowhorn in my ear. I screamed and got really scared and chased him around for a little bit. But he's really fast, so I couldn't catch him. [Laughs] Then I came to rehearsals, and he scared me again. I tried to scare him, but it doesn't work. I'm not as good as him.
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Did he use a blowhorn again? Is that his calling card?
Raisman: No, he just said, "Boo!" [Laughs] I scare easy. But I need to get back at him. It's time for revenge. He's in New Orleans this week, so I have to wait.
You said, rather nonchalantly and hilariously, that Mark makes a good girl. How so?
Raisman: [Laughs] He always says that to me, like, "Watch me. I'm going to be the girl." I watch him and he's really good! And he'd be like, "I'd be such a great girl. I would rock it." He always does that! That's why I brought it up. I would never ever say that if he didn't think so himself. He thinks it's funny. He's really good at, I guess, being sassy. [Laughs] He did a little bit for the foxtrot.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.