The new season of “Dancing with the Stars” kicked off this week, so it’s a great time to spotlight each of the 13 couples competing on the all-star season including past winner Shawn Johnson and her partner Derek Hough, a 3-time “DWTS” champion. On September 27, Shawn said to “The Clicker,” “The first week was so much fun. Great way to start off the season, but it was a humbling experience as well.” The Olympian credited Hough for her fab first performance and added, “He’s a great teacher and partner, and I can’t wait to see what he pushes me to do next week.”
During week one, Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough performed the Foxtrot and received praise from Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. “The little princess is now a blonde scorcher!” Bruno exclaimed after the pair’s first dance. However, Len Goodman was more critical and said the dance didn’t look much like a Foxtrot. Shawn and Derek’s combined score of 22 landed them in fourth place, behind Emmitt Smith, Giles Marini and Sabrina Bryan.
At 20 years old, gymnast Shawn Johnson has accomplished a lifetime of achievements including an individual gold medal in the balance beam and three silver medals in the individual all-around, floor exercise, and team categories at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In April 2009, Shawn was named the 79th Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Sullivan Award recipient, one of the most prestigious honors in amateur sports.
After a two-year hiatus from competitive gymnastics, Shawn returned to training in 2010 in an effort to make the 2012 Olympic Team. Just weeks before Olympic Trials, she was forced to withdraw due to injury and retired from the sport. She hopes to attend an Ivy League school and would like to study business or medicine. The ambitious Olympian would also like to own a gymnastics facility some day.
Shawn’s second book, “Winning Balance: What I’ve Learned So Far About Love, Faith and Living Your Dreams,” was published in June 2012. Her first book, “Shawn Johnson, Olympic Champion – Stories Behind the Smile” was published in January 2009. She’s also involved in a number of philanthropic activities that involve children and animals.
Shawn Johnson competed with Mark Ballas during season eight of “Dancing with the Stars.” Their only perfect score came in the finals, but Shawn improved consistently throughout the season. When she defeated Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft in the highly competitive finals, Shawn became the youngest contestant ever to win “DWTS,” a distinction she still holds today.
Below were the competitors from season eight of “Dancing with the Stars” (in order of elimination):
- Belinda Carlisle
- Denise Richards
- Holly Madison
- Steve Wozniak
- David Alan Grier
- Lawrence Taylor
- Chuck Wicks
- Lil’ Kim
- Ty Murray
- Melissa Rycroft
- Gilles Marini
- Shawn Johnson (winner)
Dance pro Derek Hough is the only three-time champion on “Dancing with the Stars.” He started dancing in his hometown of Salt Lake City at the age of 11, and just one year later, he moved to London to train with the top coaches in the world and attend a performing arts school.
Hough’s professional ballroom accolades include World Under 21 Latin American Champion, Two-time Open British Champion (Blackpool), Two-time International Open to the World Champion, and Two-time US Open Champion.
Derek Hough first appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2007 and has competed on nine seasons with the following celebrity partners.
- Jennie Garth on season five (4th place)
- Shannon Elizabeth on season six (6th place)
- Brooke Burke on season seven (1st place)
- Lil’ Kim on season eight (5th place)
- Joanna Krupa on season nine (4th place)
- Nicole Scherzinger on season ten (1st place)
- Jennifer Grey on season eleven (1st place)
- Ricki Lake on season thirteen (3rd place)
- Maria Menounos on season fourteen (4th place)
A multi-talented entertainer and three-time Emmy nominee, Derek Hough recently took a season off from “Dancing with the Stars” to film his first movie, “Cort in Cobu 3D: New York Nights.” In addition, Derek performed in London’s West End, where he starred as the male lead in the critically acclaimed stage version of “Footloose.” He was one of the featured dancers on the “Dancing with the Stars Tour” and served as a choreographer on the BBC (UK) hit show, “Dance X.”
Derek’s equally talented sister, Julianne Hough, also competed as a dance pro on “Dancing with the Stars.” She left to star in movies and is currently dating Ryan Seacrest from “American Idol.”
“Dancing with the Stars” continues on Monday, October 1 when the twelve remaining couples dance either the Jive or the Quickstep. A new one-hour special titled “Dancing with the Stars: All Stars – Defining Dances” airs from 8-9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 2. The judges select and introduce past routines from the all-stars’ previous seasons.
Immediately following the special, the first results show airs from 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET and features Katherine Jenkins, last season’s finalist and classical singer, who returns to the ballroom as a special musical guest. Pro dancers Val Chmerkovskiy and Anna Trebunskaya accompany Jenkins’ performance with Placido Domingo. Also taking to the “Dancing with the Stars” stage is 19-year-old pop powerhouse Cher Lloyd, performing her hit single, “Want You Back.” Finally, the first Macy’s Star of Dance performance is a futuristic standoff featuring the world’s most talented dancers battling for dance floor supremacy.
So, who will be the next to go and follow in Pamela Anderson’s footsteps? Tune in to catch the heated, all-star throw down on “Dancing with the Stars.”
The remaining all-star competitors and their pro partners include:
- Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
- Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel
- Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower
- Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson
- Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough
- Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya
- Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd
- Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy
- Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
- Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas
- Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
- Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
- ‘Dancing with the Stars’: Spotlight on Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd
- ‘Dancing with the Stars’: Spotlight on Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
- ‘Dancing with the Stars’: Spotlight on Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
- ‘Dancing with the Stars’: Spotlight on Kirstie Alley and Maks Chmerkovskiy
- ‘Dancing with the Stars’: Spotlight on Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
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