Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas
It was a big Dancing with the Stars week for Aly Raisman. Not only did she make the final four, but she finally received her first perfect 30 of the season for her rumba. "It was amazing. I almost couldn't believe it," she tells TVGuide.com. "But I was more excited for Jacoby [Jones] and Karina [Smirnoff] when they got their 30l. So, I almost forgot that I got one too." Why was she so excited for him? And what do she and Mark Ballas have planned for the final? (Hint: It won't involve the Fierce Five.)
Get the scoop on 39 must-watch finales
Congrats on making the final!
Aly Raisman: Thank you! I'm so excited. I can't believe how fast the season's gone. I really feel like [the season] just started and now it's almost over. It's going to be a tiring week, but I'm just trying to make the most of the last few days with Mark and the last few days on the show.
You guys have to do four dances and you haven't done more than two in a week yet. How are rehearsals going?
Raisman: Rehearsals are really good. I learned the whole samba routine Wednesday. I love the song. It's an old song, but it's awesome. We're going to be working on the freestyle next and then the cha-cha relay. It's a lot of dances, but this is also the most relaxed Mark and I been all season. It's the last week of the season. Whatever happens, happens. It'll be great if we win, but it's not life or death, so we're not going to stress over it and just have fun.
How does your samba look?
Raisman: I did the samba in Week 5 and I want to show everyone how much I've improved and how much more confident I am than I was in Week 5. In Week 5, I was still a little nervous to shake my hips out there. I feel I can do it so much better. Even the samba technique, I feel like I have it down a lot more, so I'm very happy with what we've worked on so far. And the cha-cha, I did that in Week 1. It's going to be a relay between all of us and they're going to rank us first through fourth for more points, but I'm not really thinking about that. I'm not going to worry too much on scores. I want to do exactly what I did last Monday and just stay relaxed.
The 24-Hour Challenge is for Tuesday. I'm assuming you'll find out what you have after Monday.
Raisman: Yeah, so I absolutely no idea what's going on until after the show Monday, so we're literally not even thinking about that right now.
Read Derek Hough's Dancing blogs
What do you have planned for your freestyle?
Raisman: We have a great song. The song doesn't have any lyrics, but it's a cool song that has an amazing beat. It's a pump-up song. When you hear it, you want to start working out or dancing. It's going to be a fun and energetic dance. It's going to be another cardio routine for me.
Do you guys have a theme?
Raisman: Right now, no. it's just a high-energy, fun dance.
You were part of Shawn [Johnson]'s freestyle last season. Are you going to bring anyone in for yours?
Raisman: No, and definitely not the Fierce Five. I feel like when I started [the show], everyone was comparing me to Shawn, and we're really different. I was so thankful that Shawn invited us to come on last season, but if I were to invite the rest of the Fierce Five on now, then that would be copying Shawn. And Mark always says, "Art stops where copying begins."
How did it feel to your first perfect 30?
Raisman: Awesome. ... But I was more pumped when Jacoby got a 10 because I know how badly he wanted a 10, and then the first one he got ended up being a perfect score. I love him. He's like my older brother. Everyone did really well this week. It was just a fun show. I loved Kellie and Derek's Argentine tango. That was my favorite. I thought she looked like a pro dancer.
You all have different strengths and advantages. What do you think yours is?
Raisman: I don't really know. To me, that doesn't matter. It's not up to me who wins. In gymnastics, I can create my own destiny. I can go out and nail a routine, but here, I can do a good dance and get good scores, but it's up to America. So I don't really think of it like that. I just want to have good time, hope America likes what we did and votes. We don't have a strategy or anything going in.
Upfronts: ABC downsizes Dancing next season
Ingo [Rademacher] said some very nice and classy things about the four of you when he left. What do you think of his comments?
Raisman: Ingo's amazing. He did say some really nice things, and I just love him and Kym [Johnson]. They're so sweet. My mom loves him because she's a huge fan of General Hospital. [Laughs] And [his son] Peanut — he's the cutest thing ever! We hang out and he's the best. But they'll still be here this week.
You should put Peanut in your freestyle.
Raisman: Oh my God! Yes! That's such a good idea. [Laughs] I want to do that now. It'd be so funny.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.