Monaco Aces It!

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Kelly Monaco (Sam, GENERAL HOSPITAL) is back on top after last night's Paso Doble with partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy on DANCING WITH THE STARS: ALL-STARS that saw her tied with Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani with 27 points. "It felt amazing!" Monaco enthused to Soaps In Depth following the show. "I know how difficult is is to live up to the level of dancing we're doing right now. I know they know we're capable of delivering. Hopefully, we can continue to do so."

And having time off from her daytime gig certainly helped the actress focus on her dancing this week. "We put in five, six, seven hours a day," she said. "You hope it's going to pay off, but it's not that technical. You have to deliver on the dance floor. You want the best, you hope for the best, but I always expect the worst... that's just in my nature."

And while Monaco gets along with Chmerkovskiy, she understands the pressure of the show's punishing schedule causing friction like what erupted between contestant Bristol Palin and her own partner, Mark Ballas. "We've had those moments," Monaco confessed. "We're in an intense situation. I can see where Bristol is coming from. It's very easy to be insecure in this competition. You're putting yourself as a non-dancer in a really vulnerable position. You have millions of people watching you and critiquing you. I give her an A-plus for courage and just getting out there. Everyone's going to butt heads at some point. I think it'll make their friendship stronger. Maybe next time they'll take it outside."

This week, Monaco was able to choose her own dance, so it's no surprise she picked something she would excel at. How will she do next week when another couple selects a style for them? "We're up for a challenge," she declared. "If somebody wants to go dirty and sabotage us and give us something they think we won't do well in, then that's all the more reason to do better. I'd like to think we'd all work together as a team and give each other something that would allow us to shine. That's what I'd do. But I don't know what everyone else is thinking. Bring it!"

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