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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 21

Paula Deen on 'Dancing with the Stars' ouster: I thought I'd be gone in two weeks, the judges were hard on me

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/20/2015 

Paula Deen apparently thought she wasn't going to last in the Dancing with the Stars competition as long as she did with pro partner Louis van Amstel.

"I thought I'd be gone two weeks. Well, it's been six. No one is more surprised than me," Deen told Good Morning America after Monday night's DWTS performance show during which she got eliminated.

"But I know without a shadow of a doubt it was from my friends out there. And for that gift, I cannot thank them enough."

The celebrity chef and Amstel landed at the bottom of the judges' leaderboard two weeks in a row. On Monday night, the couple earned only 24 out of 40 possible points from DWTS judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough, Bruno Tonioli and guest judge Olivia Newton-John for their Madonna-inspired jazz routine.

"They have been hard on me since the very start," Deen, 68, told Us Weekly of the judges. "I don't know."

However, Deen ultimately can't complain about her experience on the show's 21st season.

"I've made wonderful friends here that'll last forever and that's worth its weight in gold, right there," she said.

Last week, Deen was forced to dance with pro Mark Ballas as part of the show's dreaded "Switch-Up" twist, when all the celebrities' skills are tested by having to perform with a brand new partner outside of their comfort zones.

"Oh my gosh, I had so much fun with Mark," Deen gushed. "So much fun. But you know... I don't know how to say this, but I hate to deprive these fabulous, fabulous men that I've grown to love -- I hate keeping them from high scores."

Dancing with the Stars airs Monday nights from 8-10PM ET/PT on ABC with occasional Tuesday night results shows.

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