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Yes, Kirstie Alley got the lowest scores of the evening. And no, she didn't have a marching band like Hines Ward or do death-defying lifts like Chelsea Kane. But she still has a very strong shot at winning Dancing With the Stars.

Why? Because the studio audience — usually a very accurate barometer of viewers as a whole — wasn't just a little upset with her scores for Monday nights' samba and freestyle (a total of 54 out of 60), they were thoroughly ticked off. One woman continued yelling at the judges through the commercial break, telling head judge Len Goodman that "It wouldn't have hurt you to give her a 10."

The support isn't just about liking her as one of TV's most famous funny girls. It's about the fact that she literally worked her tail off during this competition, losing roughly 30 pounds on top of the 40 she shed before she started dancing. It's also about the fact that at age 60, she could be Chelsea Kane's grandmother, and she did an extremely competent job. Just listen to dance great Shirley Ballas, mother of pro Mark Ballas (Chelsea's partner): "If Kirstie wins tomorrow, I personally would be okay with that because she's brought her A game every week, including the week I worked with her. She gave 100 percent. She's lost all that weight. And tonight she did the best that she could do, and for 60, I think she's bloody amazing."

Pro Tony Dovolani thinks the winner is a toss-up between Ward and Alley. Why Alley? "Because she has made such a journey, and lost all the weight," he says. "Do you think she would've come out Week One wearing a leotard like she did tonight? No."

Alley herself says the boos from the audience to the judges were a great gift. "I loved that," she says. "I was a little up in arms [over the scores], personally, but when they started booing, that was like, wow. That was one of the greatest moments of my life. That felt like cheering."

So if she doesn't win, what will she take away from her Dancing days? "I walked in old and fat," she jokes. "Now I'm old and hot."

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