LOS ANGELES – Brandy earned a perfect score for her Argentine tango on Monday’s “Dancing With the Stars,” only to learn Tuesday it would be her final dance in the competition.

The 31-year-old singer and actress was eliminated from the hit ABC dance-off just before next week’s final showdown for the mirrorball trophy.

Jennifer Grey, Kyle Massey and Bristol Palin will compete for the prize next week.

Brandy was speechless when host Tom Bergeron announced she would be leaving the show.

“I don’t know how to feel right now,” she said. “It hasn’t processed yet for me.”

Moments later, she was shown crying.

Brandy, who collected 57 points out of 60 on Monday, was pitted against Palin, who earned 53 points, at the end of Monday’s episode for the last spot in the finals.

Judges’ scores are combined with viewer votes to determine which couple is ousted each week.

The Internet has been abuzz in recent days about how Palin, who has consistently landed at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard, has been able to remain on the show. Some have suggested that voters — particularly supporters of Sarah Palin — have been voting in blocs and manipulating the system.

Both Palins have denied any organized vote-getting tactics. Bristol Palin, 20, says voters support her despite lackluster performances “because I started with no experience in dancing or performing at all, and I’ve come a long way.”

“People do connect with me because they think I’m real and I’m not typical Hollywood,” she said.

Adkins selected to host American Country Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Trace Adkins has been tabbed as the host of the American Country Awards.

The tall singer from Louisiana with the booming voice also will perform during the inaugural show on Dec. 6 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which airs on Fox.

Organizers of the fan-voted award show also added performances by lead nominee Easton Corbin, who is tied with Lady Antebellum at seven, and Steel Magnolia and Uncle Kracker.

Boyle album on top again in U.S., U.K.

LONDON – Singing sensation Susan Boyle has a No. 1 album in the United States and the U.K. simultaneously for the second time in a year — a feat not achieved for more than 40 years.

Her record label, Sony, says she is the first woman to reach the milestone achieved previously by the Beatles in 1969 and The Monkees in 1967.

“The Gift” reached No. 1 in the U.K. on Sunday and topped the U.S. charts Wednesday.

The eccentric Scot shot to international fame after her audition for the TV show “Britain’s Got Talent” received more than 120 million views on YouTube. Boyle’s first album, “I Dreamed A Dream,” came out in 2009 and has sold more than 10 million copies.

Author Paretsky honored

CHICAGO – The Mystery Writers of America chose Chicago author Sara Paretsky to receive the group’s top honor next year.

The group announced Thursday that it would present Paretsky its Grand Master award in April in New York. Paretsky created feisty female private detective V.I. Warshawski in the 1982 novel “Indemnity Only.” Her latest book, “Body Work,” was released earlier this year.