Jana Kramer didn’t win the Dancing With the Stars mirrorball trophy, but she may have won something more. The country singer, who was paired with pro dancer Gleb Savchenko for the 23rd edition of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition, was eliminated just ahead of finale night, making Calvin Johnson, Laurie Hernandez, and James Hinchcliffe the final three celebrities left to compete for the mirrorball trophy.
“It was our time,” Kramer said after her elimination was announced by longtime DWTS host Tom Bergeron.
“[Gleb’s] been the most incredible partner and I’ve learned so much about myself and what I could do and how strong I could really be and he’s given me all that. It’s so much fun, so much fun.”
After her surprising elimination, Jana posted a tribute to her pro partner on Instagram, saying that he will be a friend for life. Kramer thanked Savchenko for all that he did for her and added, “I’ll forever be grateful for your friendship, your hard work, your talent, and your heart. You are family now.”
Jana also gave a shout-out to her loyal fans and to everyone at the ABC reality show for making her a stronger person.
“I just hope and pray my story touched at least a few of you to know your worth, know you’re good enough, and to always stand tall,” Kramer wrote.
On her blog for People, Jana Kramer wrote that making it to the DWTS finals felt like a win in itself.
“This sounds so cheesy, but I feel like making it to the finals, we’ve all won,” Jana wrote. “The only thing that separates us is one person will get the Mirrorball Trophy.”
Kramer added that she wanted to make the most of her last week dancing with Gleb, and she certainly did with a redemption dance (a tango) as well as a free-flowing freestyle. (You can see video of Jana’s final dance below.)
“I don’t want this last week to be stressful. I want to enjoy it and really make the most of our last week dancing together,” Kramer wrote.
Jana and Gleb didn’t have it easy this season on Dancing With the Stars. Jana suffered an injury to her rib cage earlier in the season, while Gleb battled both a bum knee and a bad bout of the flu just days before the DWTS finals.
But Jana definitely touched viewers hearts throughout the season, most notably with her Most Memorable Year dance in which she opened up about her abusive first marriage to Michael Gambino, whom she says nearly killed her. Kramer also gave fans a look at her life as a single mom to baby daughter, Jolie. Jana Kramer separated from her third husband, Michael Caussin, in August, shortly before she began rehearsals for Dancing With the Stars.
While Jana Kramer won’t compete in the Dancing With the Stars finale, she will perform on the live show. Jana will sing her song “Circles” on the DWTS finale on Tuesday night.
“‘Circles’ really is about piecing together a lot of broken parts and DWTS has been a large part of my ability to piece myself together, so I feel like everything is coming, well, full circle,” Kramer revealed.
With Jana and Gleb out, the Dancing With the Stars finale will feature three athletes: IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy, and NFL star Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold.
Take a look at the video below to see Jana Kramer’s freestyle dance on Dancing With the Stars.
[Featured Image by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Malibu Rum]