Pavelka and professional partner Chelsie Hightower were sent home on the show's fifth elimination, and he choked up when he got the news.
"I didn't really expect that; that's kind of just how I felt," Pavelka said today on "Good Morning America." "It really meant something to me. I'm so grateful to have been able to dance with Chelsie for six episodes. ... I still am really sad to say goodbye to the 'Dancing With the Stars' family.'"
The airline pilot and reality TV star said that he and fiance Vienna Girardi haven't set a wedding date yet, but he praised her for her support throughout the show.
"Vienna has been amazing," he said. "I owe her big. She put her life on hold for me to do this, so I'm going to go romance my bride."
Hightower said she wasn't surprised that the pair was sent home.
"We came out and we did our best and unfortunately didn't get enough votes," she said, adding that she was impressed by her partner's attitude, especially his willingness to dance in his underwear for a "Risky Business" dance on the show's Movie Night.
"He was willing to throw himself into anything," she said.
"I thought, well, shoot, what the heck?" Pavelka said, calling it a "once in a lifetime opportunity. ... Seize the moment."
For now, Pavelka is looking forward to spending time with his fiancé and expects to return to flying.
"Flying, no matter what happens, will always be a huge part of my life," he said. "You never know what doors God's going to open, but right now the plan is to fly airplanes."
Pavelka's departure comes a week after fellow reality TV star Kate Gosselin was voted off "Dancing With the Stars."
Gosselin said she was upset but not surprised to be sent home, and that participating in the show during a custody battle for her children was "emotionally very hard, very draining, very scary."
"That's why you saw me the way you saw me," Gosselin said on "Good Morning America." "My kids come first, and their future is uncertain right now. Dancing feels … it was just, it had to be second place at that time."
Gosselin and professional partner Tony Dovolani lasted until the halfway point of the 10th season of "Dancing With the Stars," despite consistently receiving harsh criticism and low scores from the judges.
"I wanted to learn more, I wanted to do more," she said, although adding, "I knew it was my day yesterday."
The reality-TV star said she would be happy to return home with her children, who were big fans of the show and hadn't yet learned that she'd been voted off.
"It was very hard for them to hear what the judges are saying," Gosselin said. "They weren't allowed to watch the judges' comments. It was hard for them to hear negative things about me. Of course, in their eyes, I was the best dancer."
Gosselin had been criticized for her participation in the show, because it required time away from her children. But she has maintained that she did it to support them and to set an example about hard work and trying new things.
Dovolani said he was proud of Gosselin, and that footage of the two fighting during rehearsals told only part of the story.
"They only showed the emotional parts, but really, what we had was a lot of fun," he said.
Referring to an instance when he walked out of rehearsal saying, "I quit," Dovolani said "My dad always told me to take a breath and take a walk before you speak … maybe I shouldn't have spoken. It's definitely a great example for my kids that they shouldn't speak when they're angry."
Gosselin said she couldn't hide her true feelings during rehearsals.
"I can't walk into a dance studio and act," she said. "If I was exhausted, if I was stressed, if I was tired, that's what you saw."
She said she had a "great ride" on the show.
"It was a great adventure," she said. "It was exciting, and contrary to popular belief, I really enjoyed my time on 'Dancing With the Stars.' We laughed a lot of times until we cried. … I would roll on the floor laughing."
Soap star Aiden Turner and his vivacious partner, Edyta Sliwinska, rumba'd their way off the dance floor in the third elimination.
"I feel I got robbed," the actor said on "Good Morning America."
"The judges really hated us," Sliwinska said.
Turner received a standing ovation from the crowd and bid an emotional farewell to the show and his professional partner, the only dancer to have appeared on all 10 seasons of "Dancing With the Stars."
"I just appreciate all the dance moves that she's given to me," he said on the show, tearing up.
Sliwinska called the response from the audience "amazing."
"That's why we do it," she said. "We don't really do it for the three judges. We do it for the audience. … It's really, really awesome to see that they gave a standing ovation to Aiden. ... It was harsh to be eliminated so early."
The judges are "either sitting on nails and they were grouchy … or we did something to them in our past life," Turner joked on "GMA." "They told me to be more carefree. I went out there and did everything that Len said."
Despite his early elimination, Turner said he's glad he appeared on the show.
"It's a big challenge," he said. "To be comfortable may feel good, but you've got to do things in life that put you out of your comfort zone. You've got to 'live like you're dying,'" he said, referring to the Tim McGraw song he performed to this week.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was the second star to be sent home from "Dancing With the Stars."
"I'm very proud to have had the opportunity to inspire a number of us who are trying to keep very active," Aldrin said on "Good Morning America."
Despite his low scores, the fan favorite wowed the crowd with his performance, and his elimination was met with groans.
"I did this show for the fighter pilots out there, the military people and the elder geezers like me who would just like to see an elder come back week after week," Aldrin said on the show.
Shannen Doherty was the first star sent home from the 10th season of "Dancing With the Stars." The actress's father recently had a stroke, and, she said, "I did do this for him.
"My dad doesn't have his speech 100 percent back yet, but the first words he learned were, 'I love you,'" Doherty said on "Good Morning America." "He was crying, and he said, 'I love you and I'm proud of you.'"
After the first two nights of dancing, Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger held the lead with 53 out of 60 possible points.
Scherzinger and partner Derek Hough earned the first 10s of the season from judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli for their jive. Tonioli called her performance "phenomenal."
"I have never seen a jive that good the second week," he said. Watch "Dancing With the Stars" Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.