Aly Raisman is so excited, so excited, so excited -- and doesn't seem scared of the "Dancing With The Stars" season 16 finale.
The 18-year-old Olympic gymnast was full of energy at a recent rehearsal with partner and pro dancer Mark Ballas. The two are among four other pairs competing for the Mirror Ball Trophy, which Ballas has won twice before -- once in 2008 with Kristi Yamaguchi and once in 2009 with Shawn Johnson, a former Olympic gymnast.
He and Raisman will perform three dances on Monday's performances episode. On Tuesday, May 21, the winner of season 16 will be announced.
Check out OTRC.com's exclusive interview with Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas at a recent rehearsal.
(Remember, after all "Dancing With The Stars" episodes on Monday and Tuesday, you can check out post-show interviews with the cast here.)
Aly, where is your fatigue? You sound like if this is your first day of rehearsal.
AR: "Oh, I'm tired, but actually, I'm just, I think it's just like I'm having so much fun that I'm just so happy."
MB: "I have my fatigue. It's right here."
AR: "See, I'm tired, I'm tired but I'm just, I literally feel like I'm like five this week 'cause I just feel like I just keep going and going and I have so much energy! Energy! Energy! Energy! I'm just going to go all night, all night until I can get the Freestyle and the Samba and the Cha Cha."
And how many Red Bulls have you had today?
AR: "I don't drink Red Bull. I'll have coffee but that's it."
Mark, what are you gonna do on Monday so you make sure you stand out? Is there a theme, is there a feeling, is there a move?
MB: "There's definitely a few things."
AR: "Oh, there's a couple moves, just wait."
MB: "The Samba's really cool, it's very different, it's got a very good rhythmic feel to it. The Freestyle's gonna be cool as well -- very different and innovative for the show. We've never really done anything like this before. Should be a cocktail of funness."
AR: "It's gonna be a fun night. That's what I like. All the dances -- Cha Cha, Samba and Freestyle, they're all high energy, so I like that. I'll just be so hyper on Monday night."
Do you still win if you don't get the Mirror Ball Trophy?
AR: "Oh my God, yeah. I feel like I've gone so much farther in this competition than I ever expected. I'm like a totally different person. I'm just so much more confident, so happy and just having so much fun so what more can you ask for?"
AR: "I don't feel like it's a competition. When you go to the Olympics, when you see like, the Chinese or the Russian gymnasts, like, it's on. But here, it's just like 'Hey, what's up?' I'm nice. All the American girls are nice. The younger Russian ones try to stare you down and intimidate you but you just can't let them do that. ['Dancing With The Stars' pro dancer] Karina [Smirnoff] tries to intimidate me all the time but it doesn't work."Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, which produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).