Thursday, August 2, 2012

Shawn Johnson: DWTS Called About All-Stars the Day I Retired From Gymnastics

Public Readings - Shawn Johnson announced her retirement from professional gymnastics back in early June. We immediately wondered if she would be free to sign on for Dancing With the Stars All-Stars Season 15. Yes, her knee injury was an issue in terms of an athletic career, but we figured it might actually put the the 20-year-old Season 8 champion on a more level playing field with the rest of the DWTS contestants. 

Apparently The Powers That Be at ABC were on the same wavelength because they didn’t waste any time in contacting Shawn about All-Stars.

"[DWTS producers] called the day I retired," Shawn told iVillage. "It was a really hard decision for me to make, I wanted to say yes right away but there was so much going on, I didn't know if it would be a right fit, if I was mentally ready for it and with everything going on.” 

Obviously she decided to go ahead and she’ll be back with the new cast when the season starts on Monday, September 24. “I thought it would be a fun way to transition into a new phase in my life and try to get away from all this [gymnastics] for a little bit," she said.

Shawn knows she faces stiff competition this time, from five other past champions and both of the finalists she beat back on Season 8: Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft. "It's going to be hard, and there are so many good dancers," Shawn said. "I'm so excited, I'm terrified, it's a whole new world."

We’re guessing the gold-medal Olympian won’t be paired with Mark Ballas again, so it will be interesting to see which pro partner she’s assigned. That news will come out on Monday, August 13. (We already have someone great in mind for her...)