Dancing With The Stars is dangerous.
While Melissa Gilbert, Katherine Jenkins, Jewel and Nancy O’Dell are among stars who suffered fractures on the ABC dance competition, the pain remains for Maria Menounos, who hurt her ribs and feet before placing fourth with Derek Hough in May.
“Unfortunately I’m still healing from all of my injuries,” she tells me during the Bing It On Challenge held this week at The Grove in L.A.
Still, she can’t wait to get back to hoofing.
“I haven’t really been able to incorporate dance into my exercise routine, but I’m almost fully healed. I’ve had some false alarms and thought I was, and then, of course, I wasn’t, but the second I am fully healed, I’ll be dancing my little heart out because there’s no better work out.”
She admits she’s bummed she’s not participating in DWTS: All-Stars, which kicks off Monday.
Instead, Derek is paired with Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, who won the 2009 edition while partnered with Mark Ballas.
“I loved my experience with DWTS and someday I do hope to come back and have another shot at it all,” Maria says. “It was the most amazing experience of my life and so I’m with Derek in spirit, and Shawn.”
She adds, ”They were laughing because I still feel like I’m part of the team, so I’m cheering them on. I’m very happy for Shawn, and I know that she’s going to do very well.”
For tonight, however, Maria is back in the habit of goofing around with Derek.
“We’re a part of the Bing It On Challenge, where we put people at The Grove to the test to see whether they preferred Bing or Google,” she says. “It is an awareness project, letting people know that without even thinking, they actually prefer Bing 2:1 over Google in research that has been done by independent studies.”
She adds, “We have fun with it. People who thought that they would choose Google, and then picked Bing, we would have to punish them in a fun way. We did bobbing for apples and hula-hooping and someone got a pie in his face! We had a lot of fun.”
How did it feel to be back together with Derek again?
“We love working together, so it’s a perfect match.”
Shawn also stopped by to show her support. Fun times!