In addition to Dancing with the Stars' surprising elimination of Jaleel White last week, shoulders were shrugging as well when Melissa Gilbert and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were safe from the Dance Duel after earning the week's lowest scores. Maks tells ET why the judges' poor scores won't lead to their elimination.
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"We might not be the favorites to win the competition but we're definitely not deserving [the] same scores [that] we got Week One. That, to me, angered people out there," Chmerkovskiy explained. "I think that if you want to get rid of us, underscoring us is definitely not the way to go."
Chmerkovskiy and his celebrity partner have remained in the competition through Week Eight despite consistently being at the bottom of the pack with their scores. His occasionally fiery attitude and outspoken personality are perceived by many to negatively affect his scores.
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"We both have very pronounced jaws that clench, and when our jaws start clenching, it's not for ourselves--it's for each other," Gilbert said. "I'm very protective of him and he's very protective of me, and I don't want anyone saying anything negative. It makes me angry."
As the teams continue to funnel down, the already-stellar talent is very condensed with only six teams remaining in the competition. The Little House on the Prairie star and her outspoken teammate certainly aren't the frontrunner of the competition, but just may be able to extend their stay on the dance floor for another week.
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Although the goal is normally to achieve high acclaim, the duo may ride another round of low scores and subsequent sympathetic voting to the Top 5. The two will continue their Dancing with the Stars stint on Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.