In this April 16, 2012 photo released by ABC, singer Katherine Jenkins, left, and her partner Mark Ballas perform on the celebrity dance competition series, "Dancing with the Stars," in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Taylor)
"Dancing with the Stars" kicks off its Season 14 finals next week – and in a surprising twist, Katherine Jenkins will be among those competing for mirrorball glory.
(SPOILER: This story contains the elimination news from Tuesday's "DWTS.")
Despite her salsa injury that landed her at the bottom of the leaderboard, Welsh classical singer Katherine and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, made it through to the finals.
Instead, coming as a shock to the "DWTS" ballroom, which booed loudly, Maria Menounos and Derek Hough were eliminated.
Maria and Derek actually topped the leaderboard the night before, but it was Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd who were saved to compete against Katherine and Mark, and William Levy and Cheryl Burke in the finals.
"I learned so many things," Maria, who managed to keep a stiff upper lip after learning the news, told "Dancing" co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke. "I learned how strong I was; I learned to persevere. I mean, we didn't know our dances yesterday until we got on the floor, really."
Derek, a three-time "DWTS" champ, said dancing with Maria across Season 14 was a rewarding experience.
"It's been an amazing season. I've loved, loved, loved dancing with this woman," he chimed in. "She's been an incredible person, not just on the dance floor, but just as a person. She's not just a champion of dancing, but a champion of life. Really. Seriously."
"Dancing with the Stars" finals begin next Monday at 8/7c on ABC.
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