Lil' Kim, have you heard that all the journalists backstage were yelling, "This sucks!" when it was announced you and Derek were eliminated …
Lil' Kim: Oh! I love you guys! You were all so supportive! I have to give you all kudos. You all pay attention, too!
Hey, it's our job …
Lil' Kim: I would love to still be here. Who wouldn't want to make it to the finals? But I still have my other life in the studio that I get to get back to. I get to do everything else that I used to do. I have very mixed emotions.
What will you miss most about being in the competition?
Lil' Kim: My partner!
Derek: (wrapping his arms around Lil' Kim) I'm not going nowhere baby!
Derek, how do you think Lil' Kim grew as a dancer?
Derek: I just want to say -- don't tell anybody, but she's my favorite partner. (Wryly) I didn't say that. I'm going to get in so much trouble. I'll say one of my favorites. I really wanted her to do well. She deserves everything she's gotten. I think she's proven herself. She's had great, memorable routines. Plus, we're only having a week off. We'll be back for the finale.
Do you have a book coming out?
Lil' Kim: Yes. The book is called 'The Price of Loyalty' and it's about the time I spent in prison. It's about the things I went through and the things that I learned. You don't think about things until they happen to you. You have to really pay attention. It's going to give people who have been in similar situations a bright outlook on life. It's going to be good. We're looking to have it out possibly by the end of the year.
What's going on with your music?
Lil' Kim: We're still working on some recordings to add to the album. I had about 10 or 11 before I came to the show. I haven't been in the studio [for a while] -- I want to get the perfect song and then release it.
Broadway seems like a natural next move for you …
Lil' Kim: Thank you. What's funny is that I was offered the role of Roxie in 'Chicago.' That was before ['Dancing With the Stars']. The timing was bad.
Will you keep dancing?
Lil' Kim: Yes. I've talked to Derek and Karina -- she's my favorite female dancer on the show -- about choreographing some ballroom into my show. I think it would be amazing and different.
Shawn, how shocked were you that Lil' Kim and Derek were eliminated?
Shawn: Extremely shocked! Nobody knew what was going to happen tonight. It could have been anybody that was eliminated. Nobody wanted to see Kim go. She's such a bright, bubbly personality. She makes everybody smile.
Mark, is this similar to when you and Sabrina Ryan were surprisingly eliminated in Season 5?
Mark: At this stage of the competition any of us could have gone. I think Sabrina's elimination was so shocking because it happened in the sixth week of competition. Seeing anyone go tonight was going to be shocking. It's so close. Ty has improved so much. Melissa is doing great routines. Gilles is amazing. Shawn is being consistent and is improving. Lil' Kim is, too. Seeing her go -- and Derek -- really sucks.
What do you think that Lil' Kim brought to the competition?
Mark: She's got a great cheery personality and a great outlook. She's amazing. I've been a fan of hers for a long time. She's kind, sweet and loving. She lights up the room. It'll be weird not having her and Derek here next week.
It's a tough competition this year!
Gilles: Kim is a brilliant performer. You can't take Ty down. He must have 18 billion people voting for him. I think Ty and I are the only semi-finalists who never had to learn any kind of choreography before. I'm hoping a lot of people will vote for us.
What will you miss about Lil' Kim and Derek?
Melissa: She's so sweet and has such a huge heart.
Tony: I love Lil' Kim. I didn't think I'd ever get to meet her. She didn't disappoint. To talk to her was amazing.
Ty, how shocking was it when you heard Lil' Kim and Derek were eliminated?
Ty: We've been shocked for nine weeks now.
Chelsie: Every week.
Ty: It was pretty unanimous amongst all my friends that I wouldn't last past the first week. But what's interesting about this show is that each couple has a team behind them in the American public. Nobody knows how big their team is. I'm still here, so it's not just a dancing competition. I think it's fun for America to not only watch, but also participate in this.