After just one week of performing on Dancing with the Stars with partner Derek Hough, it was difficult to doubt Ricki Lake‘s fancy footwork abilities – but as one of the season’s consistent frontrunners, the shrinking contestant admits she wasn’t a likely favorite.
“I’m sort of in shock,” Lake, 43, told PEOPLE after making it through semi-finals elimination on Tuesday night. “I was never the [original] frontrunner. I know everybody will say, ‘Oh, I picked her.’ No they didnt. My odds were 10 to 1. I know because I checked it out on [bet-placing website] Bodog.com.”
Now that she’s on her way to next week’s finals against Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke, and J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff, the engaged former talk show host says, “It’s sort of a miracle that I’m still here. I’m really working hard. I’m really proud of myself.”
Acknowledging why some people may have doubted her ballroom abilities, she explains, “You’ll get Chynna Phillips and Kristin Cavallari and these athletes like Hope [Solo] – their bodies look like dancers. I didn’t look like a dancer from the start.”
Giving it all she’s got to land that coveted disco ball trophy, Lake says, “Everything is off the calendar this week for me to focus on the dances. I think Derek has a lot of stuff up his sleeve.”
Although she says she can’t predict who will walk away with the win, overall, she’s “really happy with the way things have gone so far.”