Well, Kate Gosselin wasn't the lowest-scoring contestant on Monday's Dancing With the Stars' season-10 premiere.
She was the third lowest.
The 34-year-old reality mom and pro partner Tony Dovolani garnered 16 points out of a possible 30; only All My Children star Aiden Turner and 80-year-old astronaut Buzz Aldrin scored lower, with 15 and 14 points respectively.
Dressed in a sparkly, light-pink gown, Gosselin did the Viennese Waltz with Dovolani to Billy Joel's "Always a Woman." (A classic guy's ballad about a strong-willed, difficult girlfriend.)
When the highly-anticipated number was done, judge Len Goodman surmised, "the first dance is like your first date…You looked nervous. You didn't come out and just dance with any fluidity." For her performance next week, he urged her to "enjoy the experience."
High-strung judge Bruno Tonioli was blunter. "The technique was terrible," he said as Gosselin listened with a stoic, tight-lipped expression. "It looked like Tony was pushing a shopping cart across the floor. You have to exude something!" he implored.
Carrie Ann Inaba added kindly, "you're very different than a lot of the other people on the show," noting that most DWTS contestants, unlike the former nurse, are athletes or performers. But she praised Gosselin, too. "There's a sweet vulnerability to what you do. You have an honesty that resonates with people."
After receiving her low marks backstage, Gosselin told new host Brooke Burke that she was "honored to be here, glad that it's over and glad that my kids can rest easy tonight."
Before their performance began, rehearsal footage — some that appeared to be in her family's Wernersville, Penn. basement, others in L.A. — showed Gosselin struggling with her nerves.
"She has to communicate enjoyment in order for this performance to work," Dovolani admitted to the cameras. He tells her, "I'm like, 'okay, does she want to be here?"
"The excitement is somewhere underneath all the insecurities," Gosselin said. "Hang in there with me."
Also battling novice-dancer jitters: The Bachelor's Jake Pavelka. "I don't think I'm a great dancer," the 32-year-old pilot said forlornly during rehearsals. "I come in here and feel dumb every day."
But Pavelka and partner Chelsie Hightower fared better than Gosselin with their Viennese waltz (to the Bachelor-esque song "Kiss From a Rose"), scoring a 20. Len Goodman advised him to "stop sticking your bum out." Bruno Tolioni called the number "a little rough..Don't bash her about all the time!"
Pavelka's fiancee Vienna Girardi applauded his routine in the audience, and Brooke Burke asked how dancing on live TV compared to his on-air proposal. "Proposing to Vienna was the honor of my life," he gushed. "But this is scary!" Girardi's seat companion: Gia Allemand, the third-place finisher for Pavelka's hand on The Bachelor.
Dressed in hot-pink, Pam Anderson got a "sexy, sexy and more sexy!" rave from Tolioni for her cha-cha-cha with newcomer Damian Whitewood, scoring 21 total points.
The night's top-scoring contestant was Pussycat Dolls' Nicole Scherzinger, who nabbed 25 points dancing the waltz with Derek Hough. "I haven't seen a routine out of the gate like that, ever," Inaba gushed.
Will callers and texters support Kate or Jake? The first round of eliminations doesn't begin until next week.
Tell Us: what'd you think of the first night of performances?
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