Dancing with the Stars contestant Aoibhín Garrihy has told RTÉ Entertainment the show "doesn't feel like a party anymore" because people are more focussed and realise what they have to do to stay on the dancefloor.

The actress, who is dancing the Jive with professional partner Vitaly Kozmin this week, feels the "energy has definitely changed" since the show began in early January. 

Aoibhín Garrihy and Vitaly Kozmin's high-scoring Viennese Waltz on last Sunday's show

"It's becoming more and more of a competition, the more people become eliminated," said the former Fair City star. "You were very much focussed on yourself at the beginning and then we're discovering more and more about people."

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Garrihy and Kozmin have been at the business end of the leaderboard, just behind trailblazers Dayl Cronin and Denise McCormack.

"I'm realising that Dayl is really, really good in the Latin dances and the fast dances," Garrihy continued. "I'm discovering that Denise is really intense when it comes to the Tango or Paso Doble. She just can adapt that role - that really powerful, strong, gritty female role.

"Dayl and Denise have been there at the top each week and I'm just a little bit behind them. But, of course, I'm on their tail! I'm hot on their heels! You have to have a bit of fighting talk!"

The couple's Rumba has been one of the highlights of the show so far

Looking ahead to this Sunday, Garrihy admitted that her build-up has not been ideal.

"The feet are okay, the back's not great this week," she said. "It's been a ropey one. Unfortunately I damaged tissues. I had to take the last few days handy and am hoping to drill the steps today and tomorrow to be ready for Sunday night."

"It's really, really high energy," she concluded before heading off for training. "If we can remember all the steps - there's probably more steps than any of the other dances I've done - and not trip myself up, it'll be great fun. People will really enjoy it."  

Dancing with the Stars, Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm