"Dancing With the Stars" Backstage Scoop: Melissa Rycroft Did Not Expect a Perfect Score

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy trail closely behind Melissa and Tony after racking up a 29.5 tonight.

By Taryn Ryder
|  Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012  |  Updated 7:58 AM PDT
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"Dancing With the Stars": Melissa Rycroft Did Not Expect a Perfect Score

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Melissa Rycroft, pictured here at the Kardashian Kollection Launch Party in California, is one of three finalists battling for the DWTS mirror ball trophy.

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One more day until an all-star gets that mirror ball trophy!

Part one of the "Dancing With the Stars" finale kicked off Monday night with a fierce performance from the three finalists Melissa Rycroft, Shawn Johnson, and Kelly Monaco, plus an appearance by the Fierce Five.

So which duo is feeling really confident going into tomorrow night?

Here is what happened on Monday's "DWTS"

"We're going to rehearsal after this," Melissa told us. "It's not over yet. I could not be happier. Who would have thought that night one after the finals we would be in first place with a perfect score? I didn't!"

"I couldn't possibly be more proud," raved her partner Tony Dovolani. "It's been seven years--this season made me forget about all the other seasons I had difficulties with."

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy trail closely behind Melissa and Tony after racking up a 29.5 tonight.

Karina Smirnoff on her "Dancing" elimination

"I think we capped it off with a monumental performance," Kelly told us, noting she was "terrified at first" about her aerial work.

"I feel really confident about the work we did tonight," Kelly added. "Tomorrow is neither her nor there. We worked really hard to get here and deserve to be here."

Meanwhile, Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough's performance put them in third place tonight.

The road to the finals

"There is something liberating about going out there, putting it all on the dance floor and having it be out of your hands now," Shawn told us. "It feels really good."

"This whole season we haven't been dancing for three people, we've been dancing for the viewers," Derek Hough responded when we asked about their 8.5 wrist slap from judge Len Goodman. "That was one of their favorite dances so if that's what they want, that's what we're going to give them."

Hey--we totally dug their performance! And so did the Fierce Five who made a cameo.

Shawn Johnson on being the "mama bear"

"It means so much to me having them out here," Shawn said about the support of her teammates. "I've trained for three years with them and when I couldn't be part of that and had success and went huge from there--for them to take time and support me it's really cool to share that moment with them."

--Reporting by Will Marfuggi

Melissa isn't the only injured Star

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