It was "definitely a shock," Polizzi said today on "Good Morning America," adding that she and professional dancing partner Sasha Farber were certainly not expecting the elimination after scoring in the top three.
"I definitely didn't feel ready to go. It's physically exhausting, but I didn't want to leave," she said. "The competition is about pushing yourself, and I was pushing myself every single week."
When co-host Tom Bergeron announced her name Monday night, Polizzi began to cry and could barely muster a response when co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet sought a reaction from her on the dance floor.
The audience booed its displeasure about the elimination.
"If I knew I was going home, I definitely would have prepared myself better," she explained, acknowledging, however, it all comes down to the votes. "I think people forgot to vote.
"I can't even talk right now, but I love everybody here," the pint-sized celeb dancer replied tearfully.
Despite their elimination, Farber remained optimistic about his dance partner, saying today, "I couldn't imagine for a better partner to have my first season. It's been awesome. I feel like we're going to be best friends forever," adding that he's going to keep teaching her to dance.
Based on their performances from last week, Polizzi and Bill Engvall were two of the lowest scorers. Engvall was tied for lowest place after his tango, while Polizzi had the third-highest score of Monday night for her energetic fox trot.
Elimination is based on combined judges' and viewer votes. Typically, audience votes from the prior week are combined with the judges' scores from the live performance, and the star with the lowest overall total is sent home.
No one was sent home last week after a technical problem caused votes to be cast for the wrong dancers and the show decided to forgo the elimination.
During Monday night's episode - the seventh in the ABC show's 17th season - each celebrity danced an individual routine for which he or she got an individual score, and also performed a second freestyle routine in one of two groups, sharing in the group's score.
Music legend Cher will perform and also serve as a guest judge on next week's show, Bergeron said.