*Despite earning a perfect score for her Argentine tango on Monday’s “Dancing With the Stars,” and a 57out of 60 going into the viewer vote, Brandy was eliminated from the ABC dance-off – just missing the final showdown next week.
The 31-year-old singer and actress was visibly mortified, as were the judges, fellow contestants and many audience members, based on the audible sounds of shock and looks of confusion after Tom Bergeron announced she would be leaving the show.
“I don’t know how to feel right now,” she said. “It hasn’t processed yet for me.”
Moments later, she was shown crying. [Watch below.]
It came down to Brandy and Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin, who again had the lowest score (53) going into Tuesday’s results show. Judges’ scores are combined with viewer votes to determine which couple is ousted each week.
Palin will compete with Jennifer Grey and Kyle Massey in the finals next week for the mirrorball trophy.
Grey’s professional partner, Derek Hough, didn’t hide his surprise at Brandy’s dismissal on Tuesday: His jaw actually dropped. Judge Bruno Tonioli said he was shocked at the results. “I’m so disappointed,” he told Brandy. “Your freestyle, I was looking (forward) so much to see it.”
- [Scroll down to watch Brandy's "Good Morning America" interview.]
The Internet has been abuzz in recent days about how Palin, who has consistently landed at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard, has been able to remain on the show. Some have suggested that voters — particularly supporters of Sarah Palin — have been voting in blocs and manipulating the system.
Both Palins have denied any organized vote-getting tactics. Bristol Palin, 20, says voters support her despite lackluster performances “because I started with no experience in dancing or performing at all, and I’ve come a long way.”
“People do connect with me because they think I’m real and I’m not typical Hollywood,” she said.
- [Related reading: Report: Man Shoots TV Over Palin Dance]
Brandy said from the start of the “Dancing” season that she was aiming for the trophy.
“I hope to go to the finals,” she said after Monday’s performance, in comments that aired Tuesday. “In the most humblest way, that’s where I feel that we belong. We’ve worked so hard. We want to go so bad.”
Her professional partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, said after their dismissal that he appreciates that the show reflects the audience’s tastes.
“People vote and their voices count,” he said. “I love the fact that the show represents that. It represents the people’s choice.”
Palin, Massey and Grey will each perform their own no-rules, anything-goes freestyle dances next week. A new “Dancing” champ will be named on Nov. 23.