05/15/2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
While Dancing with the Stars
contestant Melissa Rycroft
is no stranger to reality show finales, this time around the former Bachelor
star plans on having fun!
partner Tony Dovolani
and I are not putting pressure on ourselves, and we're going to go out and have fun,” she told PEOPLE Thursday at the Maxim
Hot 100 Party in Santa Monica. “You want the audience kind of clapping with you, so that’s what were going for.”
Rycroft, 26, will be competing against actor Gilles Marini
and Olympian Shawn Johnson
for the coveted mirrored-ball trophy in the show’s final competition
Waltzing to the finals hasn't been easy. Last month, the Dallas beauty was sidelined
after she injured her ribs and couldn't perform the jive. But she’ll be physically ready to tackle her two dance routines come Monday's finale.
“We found a treatment -- a numbing patch that I wear during practice,” Rycroft says. “I’m so excited to even be here that I don’t feel it.”
As for what she'll do after next week's Dancing
finale, Rycroft says, “I’m going on vacation! I’m turning off my cell phone, I’m not turning on the radio or the TV.” --Elaine Aradillas, with reporting by Shruti Dhalwala