Surprise Elimination On 'Dancing With The Stars'

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas, Florence Henderson and Cory Ballas, "Dancing with the Stars," Oct. 2010 Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas, Florence Henderson and Cory Ballas, "Dancing with the Stars," Oct. 2010

Judge Len Goodman went ape over it and it turns out, America also loves a bit of monkeying around on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Despite netting the lowest scores on Monday night’s competition show after completely losing her place in her gorilla-costumed jive with partner Mark Ballas, Bristol Palin managed to hang in there on “Dancing with the Stars” for at least another week.

Instead, it was Florence Henderson, the reality competition’s oldest competitor, who was given a ticket home on Tuesday night, taking partner Corky Ballas, Mark’s dad, out of the ballroom with her.

The elimination was disappointing news for the 76-year-old, who on Monday night earned a personal best – a 21 out of 30 — for her tango with Corky to “The Brady Bunch” theme.

“I have been in television for over 50 years and I have to say, in all honesty, that [‘Dancing with the Stars’] is one of the best produced shows I have ever been on. I truly mean that. It’s the best — the best crew, the best hair, makeup, costumes, even the judges are the best. Brooke [Burke], Tom [Bergeron], the music and most of all this darling man, Corky Ballas,” Florence said after learning the news.

“I have loved the childlike glee on your face every week,” Tom chimed in.

“I’ve loved this show since it began. I think it’s just a tremendous show and I hope I’ve inspired people to get up off of their behinds and move and dance and live and enjoy life,” she added.

Florence’s dismissal came as a surprise for Bristol and Mark, who were expecting to go home after falling to the bottom of the leaderboard on Monday night with their jive to the theme song from “The Monkees.”

“I was very nervous coming into tonight, but I’m very grateful for our fans for keeping us in,” Bristol told “Dancing” co-host Brooke after learning she and Mark had been saved to dance again. “Hopefully next week we’ll come out better and I’ll remember our steps.”

Earlier in the day, Mark confirmed to Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Access Hollywood Live that Bristol forgot her moves while performing on Monday’s competition show.

“There’s Bristol in the gorilla suit just going, ‘Help me,’ and I’m like, ‘Just go Bristol. Go! Go! Go!’” he recounted.

Despite the snafu, Mark said dancing with Bristol has been an enjoyable experience.

“She is a sweetheart. This has been one of my favorite seasons just because she’s fun, she’s down to earth, she’s real, she’s normal,” he said.

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