Emotional “EXTRA” host Maria Menounos cried like a baby every week on “Dancing with the Stars.” But after her shocking elimination on Tuesday night, Maria didn’t shed a tear during her exit interview.
“I had a real sense of calm today,” Maria explained to reporters after the show. “And I said either way, whatever happens, I’m going to be good.”
Her semifinals ouster with partner Derek Hough was a stunner because the pair had the highest cumulative score on Monday night. Their creative Argentine tango earned a perfect 30 and their jive received 29 points. They’ve also been consistent all season. But it wasn’t enough to sway enough voters. In fact, Derek had a premonition and warned Maria before the show it could be the end.
“Derek told me, ‘Babe, I think we’re getting eliminated tonight.’ I’m like, ‘Really? You think so?’ I’m like, ‘I kinda don’t think so. You really think so?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re getting eliminated tonight.’ I’m like, all right, cool. I’m going to prepare,’ “ Maria said.
The pro dancer added, “I just had a feeling. Last night was so fun, so good. I almost felt like, that was it. She kicked butt, got five 10s, was awesome. I thought that was her moment.”
Maria was pleased they had gone out on a high note, at least. “Hey, if you’re going to go out, go out first place, go out doing well.”
Derek insisted to reporters he felt fine because there are only two good places to finish — first or fourth. “The finals are really stressful, really tough,” he said. “To be that close [i.e., in second or third place] is harder. It really sucks a lot more.”
The three-time mirror ball champ couldn’t have been prouder of the partnership because “I was telling her today, we literally have not had a bad dance.”
Maria was philosophical, saying, “I felt like last night, we overcame a huge obstacle, obviously with his injuries and the fact that the dances weren’t quite coming together this week and so they came together on the dance floor, legitimately. So, when we finished last night, I was so happy, I was over the moon and I said to him, I did what I had to do and tomorrow, que sera. I literally Tweeted it: I was like, que sera. Whatever happens from this point on, I’m happy. I’m proud of what I did.”
The TV personality, who will now resume full-time duties at “EXTRA,” revealed the hard work she and Derek put into his complicated routines: “I think [producers] told us we rehearsed like 23 hours more a week than anybody else.”
Before she goes back to work, Maria hopes to fit in a vacation to her native Boston. “I want to see a Celtics game!” she shouted.
More importantly, Maria and Derek, who both suffered injuries during the season, can now rest. “We’re going to mend our bodies, get facials, massages, oxygen. We’re going to be pampering ourselves all day long,” Derek said.