updated 10/16/2012 AT 7:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/16/2012 AT 7:10 AM ET
“My goal when I first got Shawn as a partner was to take her from a young girl, sweet and innocent, to a mature woman – sexy,” Hough, 27, told reporters backstage after their performance. “And to get those comments from the judges made me feel great.”
As for Johnson, 20 – who says she “felt good” completing the hot number – she explains to PEOPLE why she kept things conservative on the show up until now.
“The first time around, being 17 and being younger, I was shy to everything that didn’t have to do with gymnastics,” she says. “I was like, ‘There’s no way you can get me to [dress sexy].’ [Derek]’s been trying to get this out of me since the season started.”
And from the way it sounds, this isn’t the last people will see of Johnson’s new side.
Hough says his partner’s costumes will get sexier as soon as “next week.”
Johnson’s response? “Bring it on!”
Says Hough with a laugh, “I’m desensitizing her a little bit. I’m saying things during rehearsal where she’s just like, ‘What?’ I think she was shocked sometimes but now she’s like, ‘Eh, nothing shocks me anymore.’ ”