Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM ET
Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy’s surfer-flamenco dance on Monday's "Dancing With the Stars" failed to impress the judges, who scored the routine low. But did the pro’s sculpted, Speedo-clad body prompt viewers to vote him through to the finals?
“Nah,” Chmerkovskiy demurred to reporters after the show. “I think the Speedo might have distracted (voters.)”
So what does he credit getting him and his all-star partner to the finals next week?
“Kelly helped,” he said. “Her work ethic (helped) the most. (She) is so talented.”
Monaco is happy to share being in the finale with two other female stars -- Shawn Johnson and Melissa Rycroft.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “It happened, and I embrace girl power.”
Rycroft was nauseated after Tuesday's show, but not because she was nervous about the finals.
“Something’s going around and yeah, I got it this morning,” she said.
Rycroft said that she and pro partner Tony Dovolani, who’s still nursing a back injury, “make a good combo” and that they planned to take a night off and come in fresh in the morning.
“Now that we know what the competition looks like, we can make our plan of attack for the finals,” she said.
Rycroft’s the only finalist this season who’s never won the coveted mirror-ball trophy, but don’t call her the underdog.
“I don’t want to think of it like that,” she said. “I can’t. I don’t want to. I just want to go in and say this is our time to show off. Let’s think of what we can do that no one else can at this (point in the) competition.”
Next week's finals will be jam-packed with dancing.
“(There will be) two dances and an ‘insta-dance’ and we have to do a repeat dance,” Derek Hough, Johnson’s partner, previewed.
While Hough is already a big winner with three mirror ball trophies on his mantel, he thinks that because there are three female celebs competing, it’s truly anyone’s prize to win.
“It’s a very equal playing field,” he offered. “It’s not like the girls vote for the guys or the guys vote for the girls. They’re all the same gender. It will be really interesting to see how it all plays out.”
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