"It could really be anybody's game," says the actress of her remaining competition
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Janel Parrish is best known for playing Mona Vanderwaal on the TV drama Pretty Little Liars. She’s been paired with pro Val Chmerkovskiy for season 19 of Dancing with the Stars, and she’ll be blogging for PEOPLE about her experience on the hit ABC show.

It’s honestly surreal to be going into the finals tonight. I don’t know how it happened so quickly. I feel like just yesterday I was having my first rehearsal with Val! It’s amazing, it’s exciting, and I’m also really sad for this journey to end.

I’m kind of surprised I stuck around this long. Honestly, my goal was just to make it through each week, and now I have a new goal, which is to win. Now that it’s actually here and it’s in sight, I want to go all the way and I want to go all the way with Val and I want us to win.

I loved last week’s paso doble just because it was such a strong dance. I felt very womanly in that dance; I got to be a powerful, strong woman, and that was really fun. On the flip side, we had the Argentine tango, and that was also amazing because I got to tap into a totally different emotion, and that was vulnerable and romantic and soft. I loved the contrast of being able to do both of those dances in one night.

Despite Carrie Ann Inaba’s criticism of our lifts during the Argentine tango, we’re actually going to go for one of the lifts again, and perfect it this time and add some new ones. I saw what she was talking about – my feet were kind of shuffling as I came down. Honestly I just got a little bit dizzy! I’m happy for judges’ criticism because that’s how we improve.

Tonight we have a freestyle dance and we have a judges’ choice, where they get to choose which dance we bring back.

I’m very happy with the dance the judges picked for us. It’s one of my favorite dances that we’ve done, and one that stayed a little bit under-the-radar just because we didn’t get great marks for it. I’m excited to bring it back and hopefully do it better than I did the first time.

For our freestyle, we’re going to go with what we think our strengths are, which is our chemistry and what we bring to dancing when we’re dancing together. We’re going to keep it intimate, we’re going to keep it beautiful, we’re going to dance the hell out of it and go out with a bang.

I’ve always thought and I still think Alfonso Ribeiro is probably the one to beat, but I do think that everybody that is left in the competition is a very strong competitor. Everybody has worked so hard, and everybody wants it just as bad as the next person, so it could really be anybody’s game. I’m just really grateful to still be a part of it.

I actually feel less pressure going into this week because it is the finale and I’m so proud of all the work I’ve done to make it this far. Now at this point I think any of us can win. I just want to enjoy my last dance on that stage with Val, and enjoy that last moment. I know that I did everything I could possibly do, and no matter what, I got what I wanted. I wanted to enjoy the journey all the way to the end and that’s what I’ve done, so I’m going to be happy with the outcome whatever it is, but obviously I am hopeful that we will win!

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