The day has arrived when it’s a sad thing for Snooki to be leaving a TV show

With no elimination last week because votes were discarded, and the addition of scores from this week’s group numbers, there was a lot going in to this week’s Dancing with the Stars results. At the end, it was former Jersey Shore cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi who was sent home.

This was surprising and surprisingly sad, and not just because she was so upset that she almost left the stage and had to be coaxed down to talk briefly with Tom Bergeron, crying in her zombie makeup.

While she received consistently high scores from the judges, she obviously didn’t get enough viewer support, a surprise considering how much the show humanized her, showing her to be more than her Jersey Shore persona. (Viewer votes have been weird this season: Valerie Harper exited far earlier than I thought she would have, considering how entertaining she was, never mind her spirit and incredible story.)

Honestly, the idea of Snooki as a mother of a baby sounded pretty horrifying; while sentencing after an arrest included on the third season of the show, a judge called her “a Lindsay Lohan wannabe” who was “going through life rude, profane, obnoxious and self-indulgent.”

That pretty much sums it up–and that’s pretty much the opposite of what we saw on Dancing with the Stars. She was still fun and ridiculous, but at the very least, was a more fully developed as a person and TV character. This week, for example, she was rehearsing on only a couple hours of sleep because her son was sick and keeping her up all night.

Yet she still gave an impressive performance–and for her performances and personality, she’ll be missed.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.