It was mission accomplished for Aly Raisman on Dancing with the Stars last week: She impressed Carrie Ann Inaba. "I was really excited. I couldn't believe it. I honestly thought it might take a bit longer," Raisman tells TVGuide.com. "She actually told me on Tuesday that I did it better [during the encore] than I did on Monday." Of course, Inaba wasn't the only judge Raisman blew away. She and Mark Ballas earned a 27, the highest score of the season so far. So what's her goal for this week's side-by-side dancing?
Congrats on the 27. That's got to feel good.
Aly Raisman: Thanks! Yeah, I did not expect that. Mark thought I could do it, but I just wanted to do a good dance. It's only the fourth week, so to be on top is great, but it's not over yet. I want to keep improving and peak at the right time.
When you were doing it and after you were done, were you thinking, "I nailed it!"?
Raisman: I just felt really good doing it. I felt in the moment and in character and I think I brought a lot of emotion out there. It felt good being able to describe through my dancing how intense it was to train for the Olympics. But I could feel good about it and the judges could not like it, so it was awesome that they did. And also, having Gabby [Douglas] and Kyla [Ross] there was amazing. Hopefully they can come again, and McKayla [Maroney] and Jordyn [Wieber] too. It meant a lot to me.
You need a Fierce Five reunion.
Raisman: I know. Well, we had one last season! [Laughs] Maybe later, hopefully.
How much confidence do the 27 and the comments give you going into this week?
Raisman: I feel definitely more confident with performing, but the samba is a whole new dance and it's really hard. I'm really not thinking about the score or being on top or anything. It's, like, all samba, all the time.
What's hard? The rolls?
Raisman: Yeah. This is, technique-wise, the hardest dance for me. There's a lot of bouncing, so you're bending and then straightening. You have to have the exact technique because Mark and I are side by side. On top that, we'll also be side by side with Witney [Carson] and Tony [Dovolani], so I can't really be off or out of sync. This has been the most difficult week so far, but it's coming along.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.