The co-host of the syndicated entertainment-news program “Extra” lasted well into Season 14 of the ABC competition, placing fourth with partner Derek Hough. He’s now teamed with Olympic-gold-medal gymnast Shawn Johnson as “Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars” nears its Tuesday, Nov. 27, finale … and Menounos is rooting for them to win, though she tells Zap2it all the personalities llnked to the series are “a family.
“I have so little time, it’s amazing to me that I’ve been following the show. I’ll be watching it at midnight, that’s how crazy I am to catch it. And I’ll be texting Derek and Shawn in the middle of the night saying, ‘That was amazing!’ And that was me last season. It’s so surreal to know I did that. I’m not skilled in that, and they made me skilled.
“It’s so funny, because I’d never really watched the show before,” the lively Menounos adds. “I watched bits of it for my work, if I had to interview somebody, but I didn’t really ‘get’ it. Then, of course, I went through it — but my version of going through it was working 20 hours a day and dealing with all the injuries. It was excruciating and crazy, but being able to watch it now as a fan, it’s so exhilarating.”
Hough plans to have surgery for a herniated disc in his neck, which caused him to sit out a week of the contest, after this “Dancing With the Stars” season ends. Menounos, who has stayed in frequent communication with him (“Luckily, he lives around the corner”), certainly is no stranger to dancing injured herself.
“I healed five of the seven fractures in my feet,” she reports. “The two more to go are being very stubborn, and it’s incredibly frustrating to know I’ve spent my year on fractured feet … but it was all worth it in the end. I would do it all over again, and more if I had to.”
And that could happen: Menounos says if there were another “All-Stars” season and she was invited back, “It would be so hard to say ‘no.’ It was such an amazing experience, the only thing that makes me hesitate is wondering if the second experience would be as magical as the first. I know it couldn’t be, but learning and performing something each week is such a high, I would totally do it.”