Dancing With the Stars

Dancing with the Stars's Final Five Describe the Joy and Terror of the All-Star Season

11/20/2012 at 06:10 PM EST



Been there, done that? Actually, it's quite the opposite.

With the all-star season of Dancing with the Stars now in its home stretch, the five celebrities still standing tell PEOPLE they're older, wiser and more competitive than ever – and that returning to the ballroom has been more exciting and rewarding than their first time on the show.

"You can't even compare them," says Apolo Ohno. "Karina [Smirnoff] has shown me so much about dancing on a different level now, because I think can accept it now. I'm able to express that stuff."





"It surpasses season 8 so much," says Melissa Rycroft. "This time we going, 'Let's enjoy every second of this.' "

Kelly Monaco called the season "a completely different experience" and added that she "couldn't be more happy" that she signed up for it.

Added Emmitt Smith: "This season itself has taken me and maybe some of the other dancers to a whole other level, mentally, physically and through choreography and everything else."

But of course, with Tuesday's double elimination looming, it's a time for stress and anxiety as well.

"Oh my goodness, it's so much more nerve-wracking. I feel like it means more to everybody this time around," says Shawn Johnson. "Getting into the semifinal, I've never been that terrified to go dance. I was freaking out backstage! ... I just wanted to make Derek [Hough] proud."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Adam Levine's Wedding Details!
  • James Garner: 1928-2014

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

What to Watch Today

From Our Partners