Major ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Upset, Final Three Set

Brandy and Maks (Photo: ABC)

Brandy and Maks (Photo: ABC)

There have been some serious shockers on Season 11 of ‘Dancing with the Stars‘ — like David Hasselhoff getting booted from the ballroom in Week 1 or the surprise eliminations of Audrina Patridge and Rick Fox a few weeks back. But the biggest shock of the season went down when the ninth couple was sent packing Tuesday night.

Gasps galore erupted when Brandy and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were revealed to be the couple with the fewest votes and were eliminated from the competition one week shy of the season finale. The singer, pegged as an early favorite to win it all, has been a frontrunner all season and topped the leaderboard four times (she earned a perfect score Monday night for her Argentine Tango).

“I don’t know how I feel right now. It hasn’t processed yet,” a stunned Brandy said after the announcement. “This is such a shock,” said co-host Brooke Burke. “I am shocked,” said Len Goodman.

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That means, once again, that Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas were saved and made it to the finals. Did the Tea Party vote her through? Was it mom Sarah Palin’s Republican fans? Does America just really like this young, single, non-celebrity mom? No matter, ‘DWTS’ diehards are likely outraged.

So the final three contestants competing for that mirror ball trophy are Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer, and Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas. America. Got. It. Wrong.

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We caught up with the gang after the show to get their reactions to the crazy turn of events, and Brandy was, at times, practically speechless. “I gave it everything I had. I don’t have any regrets at all,” she told reporters backstage, holding back tears.

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Derek Hough was visibly shocked on-air when Brandy and Maks’ names were called. He explained his reaction to us afterward: “It was a complexity of emotions, literally. Between, wow I can’t believe it … shocked. But I’m also really happy for Bristol and Mark. That’s awesome. But I can’t believe Brandy’s going home because we all just assumed she’d be in the final. It was kind of like, Whoa.”

Whoa, indeed. But another dancer helped put it in perspective. “Brandy was amazing and it’s so sad to see her go. But at the same time, it is about America’s favorite. It’s not just about the dancing. It’s about the popularity, especially at this point in the game,” offered pro Chelsie Hightower.

Why is Bristol so popular? “Yes, she is a famous daughter,” says Chelsie, “but a lot of people in America have never done anything like singing or they’ve never been on TV. And she’s the most relatable contestant on this show. That goes a long way.”

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Even her fellow castmates came to Palin’s defense. Jennifer Grey noted her vast improvement to us after the results. And Kyle Massey said, “Personally, I think everyone deserved to be here. We really did work hard. This competition is based off viewers votes mixed–that word ‘mixed’ is so important when you watch this show–it’s judges’ scores mixed with the voters.”

When asked if it hurts her feelings that people are shocked at this week’s results, Bristol said, “No. I know that I’ve worked hard to get where I am now.”

“It’s not as crazy as the fact that Sabrina Bryan went home or Joanna Krupa went home or Jennie Garth went home or Mel B. didn’t win,” Mark Ballas said. “Same sh*t, different day. You know? Just one of those days.”

The breakdown for next week’s two-night season finale goes a little something like this: On Monday, the final three perform a redemption dance as selected by the judges (it’s a dance the judges think the couple could improve upon) and the fan-favorite freestyle dance (a dance style of their choice).

On Tuesday, Christina Aguilera performs; one couple is eliminated; and the remaining two couples perform their favorite ballroom dance and a new Instant Dance to a Cha Cha Cha. Yes, the Instant Dance was so popular they brought it back for the finale. And, of course, every contestant from this season is back as well.

The leaderboard totals (first score is for the Latin Round and the second score is for the Ballroom Round):

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough: 30 + 30 = 60
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer: 29 + 29 = 58
Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 27 + 30 = 57
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas: 27 + 26 = 53

How do you feel about the ‘Dancing’ results? Are the right people going to the finals? Tell us about it!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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