Pop Culture

Shawn Johnson pulled off near-perfect 'Dancing With the Stars' performance with broken shoe

Craig Sjodin / ABC / Today
Shawn Johnson.

Each week, Olympian and season eight "Dancing With the Stars" champ Shawn Johnson will be sharing her experiences on "All-Stars" with The Clicker! Look for Q&As, exclusive photos and more from the gold medalist throughout the season as she competes to win her second mirror ball trophy, this time alongside pro Derek Hough.

You can follow us on Twitter @TODAY_Clicker to get all the latest updates on Shawn's quest for ballroom glory. Shawn is also on Twitter @ShawnJohnson.

The Clicker: What happened with your right shoe (during your leaderboard topping routine on Monday night's show)?

Shawn: Right before I went out on stage I noticed people in the wardrobe department were looking at my shoes, but I didn’t know why. When I came off stage, they said, ‘Oh, my goodness! Your shoe was broken the entire time you were dancing!’ I looked down and saw that the heel on my left shoe goes straight down. The one on my right shoe is bent and is snapped in half on the inside. The only thing that’s keeping it intact is the (exterior) fabric.

The Clicker: So how were you able to not only dance, but dance so well?

Shawn: I have no idea. Someone’s watching out for me.

The Clicker: Melissa Rycroft kept talking about all the great lifts you do. Had she seen your routine ahead of time?

Shawn: I don’t think so. We’ve all been playing around with lifts this week. We’ve been doing them in previous dances, too. I think that’s where that came from.

The Clicker: What challenges went into doing the mambo?

Shawn: This week was hard. I was really stressing about doing the dance, getting into character and getting it all right. I didn't feel I was ready. Derek told me to put all my inhibitions aside, just go for it and have fun. I did and I loved every second of it.

The Clicker: What do you think it’s going to take to survive? Chemistry? Fan bases?

Shawn: No. I think it’s the comfort zone thing.

The Clicker: You mean the comfort you have with your partner?

Shawn: With everything. Kelly (Monaco) and Val (Chmerkovskiy) did something different completely different this week. They went way out of their comfort zone, but it blew everybody’s socks off. It really connected with people. I think people saw that I was also out of my comfort zone, but because I was having fun then the audience connected with it, too.

The Clicker: What did you think of guest judge Paula Abdul?

Shawn: She was great. Her comments and enthusiasm were great. We’d love to have her as a permanent judge.

The Clicker: How is your partnership with Derek going?

Shawn: I’m biased, of course, but Derek is phenomenal. He has a vision. He works with the band. He’ll change the music. He designs props and has input into the sets and lighting. Also, he works with me on my confidence.

The Clicker: How does he help you with your confidence?

Shawn: I come from (gymnastics) is where if it’s not perfect then it’s not good enough. I won’t ever be perfect (as a dancer), but it’s not my profession. Derek re-iterates to me every day that I can make mistakes, have fun and be silly. People love that. It’s taken a bit for that to sink in, but each day he breaks down my walls and barriers a little bit more. It’s what Kelly said after her dance with Val. The show is about finding trust in someone who can take you outside your comfort zone. Our (dance) partners do things for us that people never realize.

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