Apolo Ohno is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 4 with Julianne Hough. Finally ousted last week, the ice-skating Olympian has been blogging for PEOPLE.com about competing with Karina Smirnoff in the all-star season.
I feel good. I did my absolute best on the show. I feel like we did some amazing dances. It was a blast, it was a struggle, it was hard. I overcame all the obstacles. The fan base that was there was incredibly powerful and strong.
On one side, it was a little bit bittersweet. I felt like we should have been in the finals. We definitely were good enough to be there. But it’s out of our control. With the combination of the judges’ scores and the audience votes, we just did not have enough votes to go onto the finals.
Would I have done anything differently? Absolutely not. I think that everything happens for a good reason during the show. All the struggles and the speed bumps that Karina and I faced together, we collectively overcame them. The dances that we produced were really awesome. I feel good about that.
My entire process, the way my mind thinks, is that no matter what happens, the ultimate goal is be able to go out on the dance floor and say you gave 100 percent and that you have zero regrets about the whole season. We took every week seriously and looked at each week like it was going to be the last week on the show. The week we got eliminated, Karina and I put in something like 46 hours of rehearsal time from Wednesday to Sunday. That’s a lot of hours.
Who am I rooting for in the finals? I love all three of those ladies (Shawn Johnson, Kelly Monaco and Melissa Rycroft). We all became really good friends. I do have a personal connection to Shawn because we go way, way back – as friends, as Olympic athletes. I think by default, Shawn has my support. It was fun to be able to share the experience with another Olympian. She’s like my baby sister. And I think she’s going to bring it home.