Maria Menounos Will Use Broken Ribs to Her Advantage on Dancing with the Stars

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough

Bob D'Amico/ABC

updated 03/27/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET

originally published 03/27/2012 AT 2:30 PM ET

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A broken rib can’t break Maria Menounos’s spirit.

“It’s all good,” the injured Extra host, 33, told PEOPLE following her 25-point quickstep with partner Derek Hough Monday night.

Adds the pro, with a laugh: “So, basically, smooth sailing.”

Her injury, which occurred after she ripped the intercostal muscles off her ribs during rehearsal a few weeks ago, is actually part of her strategy, she says.

“I have a leg up on the competition,” she says of her two broken ribs. “They’re going to start breaking stuff soon. They’re not going to know what hit them. I’m like, ‘This is all I know.’ ”

Her ballroom motto? “Dance broken,” she says.


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