updated 05/24/2011 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/24/2011 AT 4:15 PM ET
But ahead of Monday’s finale – when the winner of the coveted mirror-ball trophy will be revealed – the three remaining couples were just happy to have made it so far.
Backstage after Monday night’s show, NFL player Hines Ward praised his partner, Kym Johnson. “To be here in the final is just amazing, because Kym took a player who’s never danced before and got us to the finals,” he told PEOPLE. “I owe it all to Kym … Whoever wins it is going to be deserved. I don’t think there’s any animosity towards anybody.”
Meanwhile, Disney star Chelsea Kane expressed her gratitude for new fans and new friends like Sugar Ray Leonard, Ralph Macchio and Kirstie Alley. “This was incredible,” she said. “To make it all the way to the finals and have people really support me and really take on this whole new fanbase, it’s awesome.”
For her part, Alley, who is just behind the other two couples on the leader board, admitted she never planned on making it this far. “I didn’t think I was going to be in the finals. I just sure wanted to be in the finals,” she said. “I just did.”
“Maybe if I just really work really hard, maybe I could win this,” Alley added. “Because that’s what I would like to do. Nobody signs up here to lose it, do they?”