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Sexy Gilles Marini made it all the way to the Dancing with the Stars finals but lost to Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. Though he complained about his injured shoulder, he never stopped dancing and this led many people to believe the injury was exaggerated.

“A lot of people thought I was joking. No, no. It was bad. A lot of damage to my shoulder,” says the 33-year-old, who was later diagnosed with tendonitis and recently underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

“I had an outpatient procedure and the surgeon discovered there was a lot more damage than what we originally thought,” Marini told PEOPLE. The surgery was successful and according to the physician he should fully recover in three weeks.

Marini was asked about plans for the summer- He plans on taking his family to France for a couple of weeks before returning to the states to accept some acting roles. He already confirmed he will be playing Rachel Griffith’s love interest on Brothers and Sisters next season.

Even though he lost on the show, he certainly feels like a winner. “My son [Georges] made a trophy for me. It has four lines on it and the first letters of each line are D-W-T-S,” Marini says proudly. “The first line says ‘Daddy, you’re the best.’ The second line is ‘With all my love.’ The third line is ‘Ten-Eleven-Ten,’ because Len [Goodman] joked he wished he could give me an eleven. And the last line is ‘so proud, Georges.’ This is what it’s all about.”

Lastly, Marini says “For me it was never about winning or losing. After I made it to week five – I am not a dancer and I went that far on a dancing show – I felt like a winner in my heart.”

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