Donald Driver talks about 'Dancing' finals
November, 27, 2012
By Lynn Hoppes | ESPN.com
Adam Taylor/ABC/Getty ImagesThe U.S. women's gymnastics team joined Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough on "Dancing" Monday.Tonight, the first all-star champion will be crowned on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
Will Olympic gymnastic champion Shawn Johnson continue the trend of athletes winning the dance elimination show? It's the 15th season, and seven athletes -- including Johnson in Season 8 -- have won the mirrorball trophy.
On Monday's live show, Johnson and pro dance partner Derek Hough knew how to jazz the crowd, by inviting the 2012 U.S. women's gymnastics team to take part in the freestyle dance. The judges loved it. But the duo was third for the night with a combined score of 57 out of 60 for two dances.
TV star Melissa Rycroft and pro Tony Dovolani were perfect on both (60), and TV star Kelly Monaco and pro Val Chmerkovskiy were right on their tails at 59. On Tuesday's show, the finalists will perform one dance before the champion is crowned.
Playbook reached out to Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, who won the show's trophy in the spring, about this thoughts on the finals.
As the most recent champion, what do you think of the competition?
"Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I've been watching every week! The competition has been amazing since Day 1. I'm a little disappointed my girl Peta [Murgatroyd] isn't still in it, but overall I think it's been a great season. When you get that many champions back, you know it will be a great season."
How do you think it'll play out?
"I'm hearing a lot of people say Shawn is the favorite, but you never know what's going to happen. Just like last season, I think the freestyle will be the deciding factor for a lot of the fans. All three are great dancers and they have partners that will make sure they're ready to roll. It's going to be fun to watch."
Do you think you’ll be like some of the past champs and return once you hang up the cleats?
"It’s hard to say because right now my focus is on winning another Lombardi Trophy. I know I want to do more television, whether it’s DWTS or something totally different. I’ll sit down with my family when the time comes and weigh our options."
How much dancing have you been doing since leaving the show?
"A lot, actually! My wife and I have danced at a few charity events. I pulled out a few moves after scoring a touchdown earlier this year. It's a fun skill to have."
What will winning mean for the new champion?
"It will be huge. You put in so much work to get to this point, and holding up that mirror ball makes it all worth it. They will always be able to say they were champions. No one can take that away."