Christina Milian Fights Tears After DWTS Dismissal

UPDATED 10/15/2013 at 04:20 PM EDT Originally published 10/15/2013 at 01:45 PM EDT

Christina Milian and Mark Ballas
Christina Milian and Mark Ballas
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Mark Ballas

Mark Ballas

Two emotions came to mind for Christina Milian following her surprising elimination on Monday night's Dancing with the Stars.

"I'm sad … I'm shocked," she told PEOPLE backstage. "After our performance tonight [and] getting those scores, I thought, hey, even if we are in the bottom, our score can help us stay in the game. But I guess based on votes from last week, you know, [we] just didn't make the cut … Even the audience was like, 'huh?' It was quite a reaction … I wasn't expecting [to be eliminated], but it's okay."

Fighting back tears, Milian, 32, who scored the first 10 of the season with partner Mark Ballas, reflected fondly on her experience on the ABC show.

"I loved it," she said. "I had a great time. I'm going to miss the challenge every week of learning something new and kind of feeling like, what am I doing, and all of a sudden, overcoming it. It's like every week you overcome these fears, and it's amazing."

Pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd called Milian "amazing," adding, "She's a singer-actress-artist-everything, and I thought she'd be in the finals for sure."

Said fellow dancer Karina Smirnoff: "It was extra shocking because they got the first 10 of the season. And she did amazing. Her dance, probably more than half the women in the world can relate to that."

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