The verdict is in for TV legal crusader Nancy Grace – she was eliminated from “Dancing With the Stars” on Tuesday night after viewers apparently agreed with the judges’ criticism of her performances.
But the HLN star was philosophical backstage after the show, telling reporters, “I feel sad that it’s over and happy that it happened.”
Nancy, 52, surprised DWTS fans all season by being just as tough a dance competitor as a commentator on controversial criminal cases.
She made it to the final five and even outlasted David Arquette when most expected her to go home last week. But the nail in her dance coffin proved to be Monday night’s instant jive, in which all the couples got their music just minutes before they had to perform their numbers. DWTS judges felt Nancy and her partner Tristan MacManus weren’t up to the rest of the competition and gave her the lowest score of the night at 20, with judge Len Goodman commenting that the TV analyst was like Cinderella—and it was time for her to go home.
Watch Nancy’s Elimination:
Luckily, home is where the heart is for Nancy, who became a mother of twins at age 48 just four years ago with husband David Linch and was happy to have them all share her DWTS journey. “Having my twins here and us going through this together is a dream I never thought would happen,” an emotional Nancy told reporters backstage. “I’m just thankful and blessed so it’s kind of hard to be sad when you have so much to be happy about.”
The 52-year-old dynamo revealed her husband and children Lucy and John would stay in L.A. “for a little while and I’m looking forward to that. They’re in preschool and I don’t want to move them ‘til the Christmas break, probably.”
Meanwhile, Tristan weighed in on what Nancy meant to DWTS: “There’s a lot of things we’ve done right along the way. She set a lot of examples, whether to her own kids or the people who follow the show. There’s a lot of people this season, because of Nancy, who haven’t watched the show before [who are now], so it’s generated a lot more attention for the show. It’s [also] shown a new side of Nancy to everyone which is what we wanted to do in the first place. There’s only positives that have come from it.”
Although Nancy was constantly shown bickering with her Irish-born partner, after their ouster, she told the media, “I’m going to miss Tristan most of all because regardless of how we were portrayed for a sound bite, we actually hardly ever argued. I know that’s hard to believe [but] I don’t think one day passed that we didn’t laugh like mad about something, usually about me.”
Nancy continued, “I’m walking away with so much, so many new friends, most of all Tris, but [also] the stars and the pros alike. To me [the pros] were the stars, frankly.”
The legal commentator, who lost at least 23 pounds during her grueling DWTS stint, said she intends to keep fit: “I guess I’ll have to go back to running, like I did before.”
And when asked by Xfinitytv.com if she’ll continue dancing, she said, “Oh, yes. Definitely!”
As Nancy bid adieu, the final four got ready for next week and front runners J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff were carrying a mini mirror ball which told them they will be dancing third next week. The couple who achieved two perfect scores of 30 Monday night will next perform three dances–two individual plus a 45 second cha cha as part of a progressive group dance.
“I’m so excited,” Karina said. “We worked so hard and yesterday was the perfect night. We’re really really really tired but we have so much energy and so much momentum from yesterday that I can’t wait. We’re actually going into the studio right away.”
The longtime DWTS veteran revealed, “We have three dances next week and they’re very different. Some of them are very theatrical and some have strong characters and a couple of the characters J.R. is going to be next week are the ones we haven’t seen yet.” She laughed, “He might manhandle me in one of them, a little. He’s very excited about that one because he finally gets to release all the aggression.”
J.R. told Xfinitytv.com about the finalists, “We’re all mentally and physically exhausted in some way, shape, or form. Your body—after dancing six, seven hours every single day for two and a half months, it gets to a [tired] place. But I feel good. I have little aches here and there but I’m pretty solid. So, two more weeks!”