Shannen Doherty wasn't the judges' favorite on Monday's Dancing With the Stars premiere (she scored an 18), but she said hitting the dance floor was still special.

The reason: Her father, who lost his ability to speak after suffering a massive stroke last year, was in the audience.

"It was beyond emotional," the 90210 alum, 38, told after the show. "It was amazing to have him here. I had eye connection with him throughout my routine and to see the pride and the love in his face was overwhelming to me. He is determined to come back every Monday, and it's been great for him tonight."

She told Us she was "so nervous" when she did the Viennese Waltz, but "I got through it. And I didn't fall!"

Which fellow contestant surprised her partner Mark Ballas the most? "I thought Pam [Anderson] was awesome!" he told Us. "She hit it out of the park."