Pop Culture

Shawn Johnson: We had to tie 'Dancing With the Stars' pro Derek to a chair

Adam Taylor / ABC / Today
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough.

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 did you learn about their different styles when Derek (Hough) was supervising your dance this week with Mark (Ballas0?  

Shawn: I’m so used to dancing with Derek. We’ve danced together for ten weeks. In that time, you learn a person, his style and his habits. My habit with Mark was three years ago. Getting used to that again and jumping back and forth was a lot to wrap my mind around, but it all worked out.

The Clicker: What’s this about tying Derek to a chair?

Shawn: (Laughs) Yes. We actually tied him to a chair. He’s so hands on. Like any athlete, putting him on the sidelines is really hard. He would still work and kept testing (us even after he was tied to the chair).

The Clicker: How did Derek being tied to a chair not make it onto the show?

Shawn: (Laughs) I think we had a week full of a bunch of stuff. Getting all the stories into the video package is hard.

The Clicker: Derek says he’s coming back to dance with you.

Shawn: Yes. Derek is back starting (today) with rehearsals and everything. He’s feeling good. We just have to make sure he doesn’t push it too much. But it’s more important to have him for the end.

The Clicker: How would you feel if the finals again were you, Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft (as it was in season eight)?

Shawn: Each week it’s getting a little closer to being that. If it plays out that way, season eight will make you proud!

The Clicker: Back to your unique experience this week, did you have to assert yourself with Derek and Mark? They must have their own language.

Shawn: I did a little, but not really. They’re both creative geniuses. Their minds just turn and they understand it even if I don’t. I put my energy this week into working with both of them. It was exhausting! But I was living a dream for every girl in America!

In Shawn Johnson's memoir, "Winning Balance," the Olympian shares her personal story in a way her fans have never heard it before. She'll be signing copies of her book at ESPN ZONE at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12 p.m.

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