NEW YORK (CBS) The end of this often-surprising "Dancing with the Stars" season could be anyone's game, according to the show's executive producer.
Conrad Green told CBSNews.com that next week's finals will be a "three-horse race."
Despite the early ousting of a number of strong contenders and fan favorites, Green labeled as untrue reports that "DWTS" is unhappy with and revamping its voting process.
Judges scores for remaining dancers Kyle Massey, Jennifer Grey and Bristol Palin have gotten increasingly close as the show has gone on, he explained, which will make the competition extremely tight.
And as for the Brandy's elimination in last week's semifinals, Green admitted he wasn't as surprised by the outcome as many others were.
"I wasn't as shocked as most people - we were always set for a surprise," he said. "It's always been so close."
He added: "It's just been one of those seasons when surprising things happen."Of the rumored change in voting, "We've got no plans at the moment to do that," he said. "The system has worked well for the show for over 200 episodes now...No system is perfect, but we've set this up to have a really good balance between the judges and the viewers."
Green said he thought Palin "danced out of her skin" during last week's show and deserves to be in the finals, even though Brandy is gone.
"I was hoping, too, that we'd see Brandy in the finals, but that doesn't mean I didn't want Bristol to be there."
Many have speculated that passionate voting fromhelped propel Palin throughout the competition, despite recieving consistently mediocre scores from the judges.
Watching "DWTS" is a "participation sport," Green said, and only a small population of the show's audience actually votes. So voters may support an underdog competitor while assuming the stronger ones, like Brandy, are already in.
"There's danger in apathy," he warned. "Every single week, the slate is wiped clean. That means their can be surprises if people assume there is some collective right for a dancer to be there. If you don't vote, your person is less likely to get through."