shawn johnson rycroft monaco dwts 'Dancing With the Stars' backstage: Shawn Johnson, Melissa Rycroft and Kelly Monaco celebrate first ever female only finalWith the elimination Monday (Nov. 20) of Apolo Ohno and Emmitt Smith on “Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars,” the reality competition will see its first all-female finale in 15 seasons.

We caught up with the three finalists — Shawn Johnson, Kelly Monaco and Melissa Rycroft — backstage after the results show to get their reactions on making “DWTS” history.

“I embrace girl power,” Kelly told us. “I think it’s awesome. I’m honored to be up there with two amazing women.”

“How flippin’ great is that?” enthused Melissa. “The girls beat the boys in this competition. I don’t think that anybody had that written in the cards.”

Added the former “Bachelor” contestant, who knows a thing or two about competing against women, “It feels so good and to be in the company we’re in — it’s going to be so great.”

“I’m so excited!” agreed Shawn, the trio’s bubbly blonde. “Being all girls — it’s a first. So All-Star season will be [even more] exciting.”

The dancers already have some ideas for the freestyle routines they will be performing next Monday — but they aren’t sharing.

“We have some amazing stuff planned,” Shawn teased about her and partner Derek Hough‘s choreography. She did confirm, however, that the producers cleared “everything we wanted to do for our freestyle” — including “something amazing” that could “be the best moment ever.”


Kelly’s pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, says, “I’m not in competition mode — I’m in creative mode. I want to really do a beautiful [freestyle] piece. Derek’s piece tonight … that was a beautiful piece, a timeless piece, something he’s going to treasure for a long time. That’s what I want to do with Kelly.”

When asked whether she and her partner, Tony Dovolani, would attempt another freestyle hip-hop, Melissa laughed: “I will say we’re probably going a different route than hip-hop. We gave that one a go. We tried it. Now, we’re going on to Plan 2.”

“Definitely Plan 2!” confirmed Tony.

“It’s basically freestyle on crack,” Melissa added about the broader scope of the routine. “A freestyle before was do whatever you want; now it’s do whatever you want — plus a whole bag of tricks you can use.”

What sort of “tricks” are you expecting to see from the finalists? Who has your vote to win?

Posted by:dmoorhouse