Shawn Johnson Very Ready To Take On Her Dancing Competitors

Gilles Marini recently said he has no pity for fellow competitor Shawn Johnson on "Dancing with the Stars" in Season 15 because this time around, she's 20 instead of 17. But, the retired gymnast -- who beat out runner-up Gilles for the mirrorball trophy in Season 8 -- doesn't care.

"I'm still gonna beat him," the competitive Shawn told AccessHollywood.com's Laura Saltman, who visited the athlete and her professional partner, Derek Hough, during rehearsal in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

PLAY IT NOW: Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd Talk Pre-Dancing Injuries & Significant Other Jealousy

Derek actually seemed a little surprised by Shawn's fighting words.

"Hold the phone. That is so not my talk," he said. "I like to do my trash talking with my moves. That's where my loudest work comes from."

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Sexy ‘Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars’ Pairs Photos

Gold medalist and former "Dancing" champ Shawn knows the competition is tough this season, but she's ready for it.

"The level of playing field, it's a lot higher than it used to be," she said. "Everyone's super competitive... There's a lot tension, but, it's good."

And it's harder on the pros too.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: ‘Dancing’s’ Derek Hough

Derek is a three-time mirrorball champ, who has continued to wow each season with his choreography, but he's still feeling the pressure.

"There [are] expectations, for sure, so it's actually up to us as professionals to make sure we give them strong content to showcase their ability," he said.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: ‘Dancing’s’ Mirrorball Winners: They Came, They Danced, They Conquered!

"Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" premieres Monday, September 24 at 8/7c on ABC.

-- Jolie Lash

Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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