Smirnoff explained her pal's testy reaction. "I promised him the judges were going to appreciate the hard lifts that he did because they were incredibly difficult," she told Us.
"I really thought the judges would appreciate that more. He put a lot on the line doing that dance, but it is what it is."
For his part, Sorrentino thinks the judges "were trying to make a statement" he said on "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "It's kinda like the first day of class when you see the most popular kid in class and wanna make an example of them."
In the end, Smirnoff calls the exit "very predictable ... The scores were quite low, and the remarks weren't that encouraging either."
But the "DWTS" vet has no regrets: "I had so much fun on this season," she gushed to Us. "I think his time was cut a little short, I think he had a couple more weeks in him; we're going to take it with a grain of salt."
Perhaps Smirnoff will reunite with her partner for a guest stint on "Jersey Shore?" "I could be the drill sergeant that comes in and puts everyone in check," she joked. "Or I can do GTD! I'll get everyone to do gym, tan and dance!"