“Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert got sent home Tuesday night after an amazing underdog run on “Dancing with the Stars.” And although she got the boot on her 48th birthday, Melissa treated reporters to her quirky good humor backstage after the show.
“Every day above ground is a good day,” she said. “I’m okay. I did things that I never thought I’d ever do in my life.
“It’s my birthday, man. I have dinner plans. I have a place to go with my family and my really, really dear friends, including this one,” she said of her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. “My boyfriend [Thierry Gauchet] is in Paris waiting for me anxiously to arrive a few days after the [DWTS] finale.”
See Melissa’s Reaction to Getting the Boot:
Melissa and her bad boy pro defied predictions all season by not getting voted off despite tentative dancing that the judges never failed to criticize. But on Week 8, with Melissa finally looking like she was comfortable on the ballroom floor, it was suddenly all over for TV’s Half Pint.
Accentuating the positive, she said, “We definitely went out on a high note.”
Melissa, who was in the bottom two with Katherine Jenkins, told reporters because the singer has been such a great performer, she didn’t want her co-star to get the axe. She also revealed, “We had a huddle—the five other cast members and I—in the sky box right when the show first started. That was really important for me to get us together so we could acknowledge that we’d been through this all together.”
The Disney Star Couldn’t Escape Elimination Any More!
When xfinityTV asked Melissa what she’d learned about herself from doing the show, she replied, “that I’m unstoppable. I learned a lot about my own physical endurance. I never, ever worked this hard—to the point where, in the beginning, I would be wheezing in rehearsal—and I don’t have asthma. It was extraordinary. It actually hurt to breathe. Now [Maks and I] catch our breath at the same time.”
Her partner Maks, who admitted he still hasn’t watched an episode of “Little House on the Prairie,” said, “I’ve heard a lot about it, over and over. I was like, okay, I get it, 1800s, they live somewhere but I don’t really care about Half Pint. I care about Melissa Gilbert, the person I got to love.
“We’re very proud. The competitor in me will never be okay with a loss but the dancer in me did not want see Katherine go. What’s left are four amazing couples.”
Still, Maks couldn’t resist leaving with a typically candid dig: “I’m not going to lie to you. Today didn’t feel like a fan vote. It felt like some other vote, but it is what it is. I’ve been there before.”
Meanwhile, Melissa is ready for a break: “All I know is there is sleeping in my future and I was not going to be able to eat this week because there was a rather revealing costume coming up so now I can eat,” she smiled. Melissa didn’t know exactly how much weight she lost but went “from a size 6 to a 2. I have a 26-inch waist now.”
The second star eliminated, Disney cutie Roshon Fegan, took the loss in stride. The young actor shrugged backstage that he just “didn’t have enough votes. What happens, happens.”
Roshon, who earned scores of 29 and 27 on Monday night but still lost, learned a lot about himself by doing DWTS: “I really feel like I put a lot of hard work in and pushed myself to see how far I could really go. The Disney Channel is fun, but this is a whole ‘nother world and I definitely see that I can hang with the big boys.”
His partner Chelsie Hightower said, “It’s been a great journey. I think in many ways, we did everything we could do. It’s great to end it with some 10s, and overall, I had a fantastic time.”
But the spunky dance pro did take issue with the way DWTS eliminated them abruptly half way through the Tuesday show (with Melissa and Maks taking their final bow at the very end). “I wish they didn’t eliminate us first. I think that’s the crappy part!” Chelsie exclaimed to reporters.
Still dressed in their nerdy ‘50s style garb, Chelsie said she and Roshon were going to go out for a post-elimination steak dinner and would “burn our costumes.” Roshon laughed, “I don’t know about that part. We could if you want but I think that’s a little awkward.”
The actor/singer will move on with other projects. “I’m very excited about this summer. I’m releasing a lot of music. I’ve been in the studio for a very long time getting these songs together and I have a nice tour coming up to meet all my fans around the world. Of course I have my Disney Channel show ‘Shake It Up’ to rely on and that’s the greatest blessing ever. I’m going to be on that and possibly some films with Disney. No vacation—my whole life has been a big ball of work so I don’t think I should stop until I can’t work anymore.”
Watch Tuesday Night’s Elimination Episode Now: