Kate Gosselin said she was upset but not surprised to be voted off "Dancing With the Stars" Monday night, 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" today. "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's ex-husband, Jon, is seeking primary physical custody of the eight Gosselin children, but when asked if she was concerned about losing custody, Gosselin said, "No … not at all."
She said she was disappointed to be involved in legal proceedings over custody because, initially, the two "divided the kids among us very peacefully" and she had hoped that 2010 would bring a fresh start.
"Life was exciting," she said. "It was very difficult to have to step back a couple of steps and then to dance six hours a day."
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 knew it would be me," she said of her elimination.
Describing her emotional farewell on the show as "a mixed-emotions cry," Gosselin said, "I was sad that it was me … but I was happy that it was me and it wasn't anyone else.
"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."
They don't even know yet," she said, because they were asleep when the show aired. "They'll be happy that I'm going home with them, and I'll be home more with them."
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."
She also thanked her fans for their support.