Snooki struggles to keep it together after being eliminated on Dancing With the Stars.

Snooki struggles to keep it together after being eliminated on Dancing With the Stars.

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was another surprise elimination of “Dancing With the Stars” last night, despite an outstanding performance. It was enough to make her cry. But in retrospect, it was no surprise at all; it was a reality check.

Polizzi, of course, is best known as the all-out hellion on the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore.”

You know the character; she was loud-mouthed, profane and often falling-down drunk, but definitely funny, and somehow endearing. But that’s not who we saw on the ABC program.

Snooki has gone to great lengths to re-invent herself as a diva. She’s not the person she was when she appeared on the show, and that ultimately was her downfall.

Let’s face it, at this stage of the game, “Dancing With the Stars” is largely a popularity contest, especially now that the contestants are fairly evenly matched on the dance floor.

That means Snooki’s departure is largely due to the fact that people don’t remember the show and certainly don’t recognize her as the character she once was.

From a show biz perspective, she might have been better off sticking with her old persona. She was memorable and funny for all the wrong reasons, but she was singular. Think Melissa McCarthy.

The Snooki we see today has been homogenized and surgically enhanced into another generic celebrity. She’s even polished her grammar.

So here’s the reality check: re-invention begets re-branding. In short, Snooki, we hardly know the new you. Which may have been the reason she joined the “DWTS” to begin with.

In any event, it was a sad sendoff. “I just love everyone here,” the “Jersey Shore” alum sobbed. We love you, too… whoever you are.

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