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'DWTS' Exclusive: Denise Richards' Partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy on the Surprise Elimination

Despite his shock elimination from "Dancing With The Stars" on Tuesday evening, Denise Richards' dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy was all smiles as he foxtrotted into TV Guide's Sexiest Stars party at the Sunset Towers Hotel alongside fiancé and fellow dancer, Karina Smirnoff.

Q: So Maksim, are you surprised by the outcome?

A: After six seasons this is a normal event, someone goes home and last two seasons I was fortunate enough to stay until the finale. I was surprised, but we did such a bad performance yesterday. We got a 15 and you saw that.

Q: What was Denise like to teach?

A: Denise is very talented and a physically capable women, but she can't compare to Steve-O's dance ability (joke). That's what we love about this competition, you just never know who is going home and how the audience feels.

Q: What is Denise like away from the cameras? Was she upset after elimination?

A: She's very nervous backstage, she had a lot of pressure on her given her past and some of the things she wanted to fix. She wanted to come out in a different light, I think she accomplished that. People saw I different side of her. I loved her enthusiasm, she wanted to stay in the show just to dance.

Q: Karina, we were recently talking about how you thought you would be the next to go ...

A: I know, its crazy. I had my bags packed to fly to New York to do 'Regis & Kelly'. I can't believe we're still in it.

Q: How do you feel about Denise's elimination?

A: I don't have to be nice to her but she's a beautiful person inside and out, she gave it her all in rehearsals. She felt like she had something to prove and she really did it.

Q: So you'll be living it up tonight and having a drink of relief?

A: Yes, I feel like I age ten years every Tuesday. Tonight I will be living up to my last name and having a few drinks, but I still have to work early tomorrow!