Nancy Grace: I Laughed Every Day with Dancing Partner Tristan MacManus

11/09/2011 at 11:35 AM EST

Dancing with the Stars: Nancy Grace, Tristan MacManus Never Argued
Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus on Dancing with the Stars
Nancy Grace may be one tough cookie on her HLN show, but as viewers witnessed during her eight-week run on Dancing with the Stars, the TV personality has a soft side.

"There wasn't one day that passed that [partner Tristan MacManus and I] didn't laugh like mad about something," Grace, 52, told reporters backstage minutes after she was eliminated from Tuesday night's show. "[We] usually [laughed] about me."

Blaming the producers for painting what she considers an unrealistic view of her relationship with the Irish cutie, she says, "Regardless of how we were portrayed for [package] sound bytes, we actually never argued."

When it comes to looking back on her experience overall, Grace – who was at the bottom of the leader board on Monday night – isn't crying because it's over. She's smiling because it happened.

"I feel sad that we're going home, but it's kind of hard to be sad when you have so much to be happy about," she said. "Having my [4-year-old] twins here and having us go through this together is a dream I never would have thought would happen. I'm just thankful and blessed."

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