Nastia Liukin: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Semi-Finalist

Nastia Liukin

Many predictions are that Nastia Liukin and pro dancer Derek Hough will take home the mirrorball trophy this season on Dancing With The Stars. In addition, it seems like the major competition for Liukin and Hough is celebrity Rumer Willis and pro Val Chmerkovskiy. Over the last few weeks, Liukin and Hough have had to be very creative with their choreography in their performances because Hough is struggling with a sprained ankle, bone bruising and a broken toe. It's undetermined if Hough will be able to take center stage again this season, but his creative approach to their most recent performances has really sky-rocketed the dance couple into high scores. Hough gave TV Guide an update on his condition and stated: I'm getting better. I'm starting to move more. Sometimes I feel like I can really dance and then I kick and I'm like, "Nope! Big toe's still hurting!" My ankle is getting better too, but I can't put too much weight on it yet. We're working on it. There's recovery and then there's dance recovery. I still can't jump and spin and kick and push off yet. Last week on the show, the promo package shown on TV showed a different side to Liukin, where she looked tired and appeared very agitated. Hough's comments about it were this: The first day of rehearsal we had rehearsed so hard, but in the eighth hour of rehearsal, she was tired and the producer was asking her a question that had nothing to do with the show and what we were doing. She was like, "I'm tired." They kept pushing her because they wanted her to react and she did, and that's what they played. When they played the package before our dance, we both looked at each other, like, "What was that?!" We really did have such a great week. I got to know Anastasia, the girl who's fun and giggly, not Nastia, the Olympic champion. As for how the two dealt with the set-back, Hough explained: On Tuesday, I saw that Nastia was still upset about it and I felt like there was something else there. One of my favorite parts of the show is being a mentor and a friend and I haven't had an opportunity to do that this season, so we had this great conversation in the trailer. I opened up to her and I think that made her feel safe. And I think that helped her open up to me. It was a massive breakthrough. As for the show tonight, it's the judges' pick and Liukin's designated judge is Len Goodman. We'll see what Liukin and Hough can come up with this week.

Now click through our gallery of Liukin's best Instagram pics.