"Extra" was backstage with Bruno Tonioli after fan favorite Lil' Kim was sent packing -- and he told us he's shocked by the public's decision.

"My heart sunk," he told us. "She's such a brilliant performer... come on! Who would you rather watch?!" He added, "I am mad!"

It was widely speculated that cowboy Ty Murray and partner Chelsie Hightower would get the boot, but Lil' Kim received the lowest number of votes.

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