The season’s biggest surprise came Tuesday night when Lil’ Kim and partner Derek Hough were eliminated from Dancing with the Stars.

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The couple, who often led with the highest scores of season 8, found themselves at the bottom two, alongside Ty Murray and partner Chelsie Hightower.

The crowd gasped, some even booed, when the results were announced. Tears filled Kim’s eyes, but it wasn’t long before she and Hough were laughing and hugging again.

“Did they make a mistake,” she joked afterward. Hough added, “It doesn’t matter when it is, even when you think you’re going to be eliminated, when you hear your name it still feels terrible.”

The petite rapper wowed audiences — and often the judges — with her energetic dancing, and as a result was rewarded each week with a standing ovation.

“The greatest feeling is when I’m out here and the crowd is going crazy. The energy from the crowd is the best,” said the rapper about her favorite part of the experience. Not only did the fans love her, but so did her Dancing peers, including Murray, who surprised many by making it to the semi-finals, says he and Kim got to be good friends.

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“She’s a sweetheart. We’ve been voting for each other for weeks now,” he said. “She had as much grit and as much work ethic as anybody I’d seen on the show.”

Now that she has ballroom dancing under her belt, says Kim, it’s something she’ll take with her whenever she performs in the future.

“I know how to move and be sexy and everything, but I wasn’t always tamed,” she says. But now? “I feel like I can really, really dance.”

The final four heading into next week’s semi-finals are Murray, Gilles Marini, Melissa Rycroft and Shawn Johnson. –Elaine Aradillas

Tell us: Were you shocked by Lil’ Kim’s elimination? Are you surprised Ty Murray has such a big fan base?

MORE: • Dancing Tribute: When Bruno Met Lil’ Kim•Get all the latest on DWTS here. Craig Sjodin/ABC

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