She left her Alaska life and family behind and spent days driving her truck to Los Angeles to compete on “Dancing with the Stars,” and it appears Bristol Palin made the right choice.
The 20-year-old single mom, and daughter of former Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, is heading to next week’s “Dancing with the Stars” final round.
Despite four visits to the bottom of the “DWTS” leaderboard, Bristol and professional partner Mark Ballas made it to the final round, while Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who topped or tied for the top spot several times throughout Season 11, were sent home.
The shocking announcement rocked the ballroom when Brandy and Maks were revealed as having received the lowest total score following Monday night’s competition show. Maks put his head down as he heard the news and a number of members of the studio audience booed the results.
Cameras panned to finalist Kyle Massey, who put his hands on his hips, while his partner, Lacey Schiwmmer clapped, but gave a look of disappointment.
Jennifer Grey, who also made it through to the finals stood with her arms at her side and turned away, while her professional partner, Derek Hough’s jaw dropped as he clapped slowly.
Mark Ballas rubbed the arms of Bristol, who looked expressionless as she turned to Brandy and Maks.
“I don’t know how to feel right now,” Brandy said when show co-host Brooke Burke asked her reaction to the news. “It hasn’t processed yet for me.”
Maks, who has been vocal all season about a host of issues – in particular, judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s scoring — actually played it cool, despite the fact that he and Brandy scored 57 total points for their dances on Monday night, a full 4 points more than Bristol and Mark.
“I said it in many press interviews, one thing that I love… is the fact that people vote and their voices count and I love the fact that the show represents that,” Maks said. “It represents people’s choice and I don’t regret a second of the last five years of my being on the show and definitely not a second of me being on the season. It’s been an amazing journey.”
Judge Bruno Tonioli, who was disappointed to see Brandy go, made a surprising gesture on the live results show, asking her to come back next week and perform the freestyle she and Maks were working on when they were hoping to make the final round.
“Please, on Tuesday, when you come back, do it for me, for us. Come on…” he said as the camera panned to Brandy’s disappointed face.
“Dancing with the Stars” Season 11 returns next week with the final round on Monday at 8 PM ET/PT.