One year older, one year wiser?
Her jive was nothing short of juvenile. Attempting to mimic her professional partner Tony Dovolani's footwork, Kate Gosselin looked like a kid just learning how to distinguish left from right. Throughout, she wore a terrified expression on her face, as if her legs just might give up on her altogether.
Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" blared in the background, and while Kate Gosselin remained upright at the end of Monday's performance, she may not be singing that tune for long. She and Dovolani scored only 15 out of a possible 30 points, making them prime contenders to get axed in tonight's elimination.
Which could be fine by him: in rehearsal footage aired before their performance, Dovolani revealed his rage at Kate Gosselin's lack of talent, venting that "Nothing in dancing is natural to Kate." As she nagged him again and again about the moves, he growled, "I've never been questioned in my teaching," before exploding, "I quit."
After a commercial break, Dovolani returned to his clueless student and apologized. No stranger to getting ditched by dudes, Kate Gosselin took it in stride, forgiving him and noting, "a lot of people quit on me in life."
Subpar though her skills may be, it's hard to blame the reality TV mom for getting her kicks from "Dancing," considering how things unraveled for her when she was 34. Below, a look back on 10 highlights and lowlights since Kate Gosselin's last birthday.
May 12, 2009: Trashing the tabloids. With rumors swirling about her husband's affair with a schoolteacher and her transgressions with the family's bodyguard, Gosselin lashed out at the media. "The next story coming out from the animals that stalk us is about our security person and his family," Gosselin told People magazine, referring to bodyguard Steve Neild. "Already the allegations they're making about me are disgusting, unthinkable, unfathomable, and I am horrified."
June 22, 2009: Gutting the house of Gosselin. Just a few weeks after the first reports about her rocky marriage, Gosselin set the tabloids' story in stone. During a special edition of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" that initially focused on the gang building toy homes, Mom and Dad revealed the cracks in their foundation.
"Yes, Kate and I have decided to separate," Jon Gosselin said at the end of the show.
"I'm not very fond of the idea, personally, but I know it's necessary," Kate Gosselin said. "My goal is peace for the kids." The same day, they filed for divorce in a Pennsylvania court.
Aug. 3, 2009: Into the Wild. After more than five weeks off TV, "Jon & Kate Plus 8" returned to TLC with a new episode that showed Kate Gosselin trying to navigate the wilderness and single mom-hood simultaneously.
"If I have never grilled before, I'm gonna grill," she said in the episode. "If I have never camped before, I'm gonna camp. It might take me a while, but I can figure it out. My new attitude is, I can do."
Unfortunately, one thing the show could no longer "do" was generate ratings -- "Jon & Kate Plus 8's" ratings took a dive with the Aug. 3 episode; the free-fall continued through September. According to TVbytheNumbers.com, 4.2 million people watched "Jon & Kate Pus 8" on Aug. 3, compared with 10.6 million on June 22. That number fell to 1.7 million by Sept. 21.
Sept. 29, 2009: Woman on top. Amid "Jon & Kate Plus 8's" plummeting ratings, TLC announced it would drop Jon from the show and give Kate Gosselin top billing with a series focused solely on her and the kids, the aptly-named "Kate Plus 8." Jon Gosselin hindered those plans when he accused TLC of violating child labor laws and forbade the network to film his children. In February, Jon Gosselin and the network settled their differences (TLC had filed a breach-of-contract suit against him) which meant Kate Gosselin and the kids could be back on TV soon.
Oct. 5, 2009: Bye-bye bling ... and bank account? After keeping her wedding band on her hand through the summer for fear of upsetting her brood, Kate Gosselin revealed on the "Today" show that she's shopping for finger flair devoid of association with her ex.
"[The kids and I] discussed a ring I might buy," she said. "It has eight little diamonds and a mother of pearl." She also accused Jon Gosselin of cleaning out the couple's joint bank account, saying "he took $230,000 of the $231,000 we had." While her estranged husband initially claimed he was entitled to the money, a judge ordered him the next week to return $180,000 to the account.
Nov. 23, 2009: "Bittersweet" end to show gone bad. "Jon & Kate Plus 8" ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. After nearly three years on the air, TLC pulled the plug on the series with a final episode that featured the Gosselins musing about their family's future. During the show, Kate Gosselin called the finale "bittersweet" and said she's not ready to step out of the spotlight: "I never had a clear picture of how it would end. It's too soon."
Dec. 18, 2009: Married mom no more. Divorce papers signed, Kate Gosselin put her union with Jon Gosselin in the past.
"I am very relieved that our divorce has been finalized, and I look forward to the new year, focusing on our children" and "restructuring our lives," she said in a statement.
Jan. 6, 2010: New year, new 'do. Days after ringing in 2010, Kate Gosselin sidled up to Ted Gibson's salon to revamp her look. The process was anything but cut and dry. She reportedly spent 20 hours in the chair to transform her signature spiky bob into a head of flowing blond locks, courtesy of hair extensions worth $7,000.
"It's good to have hair again," she told People magazine. "I know this will be more upkeep than my old look, but I'm ready for it."
Feb. 8, 2010: Hitting the books, again. Kate Gosselin announced she's penning a third tome about her brood, already the subject of two books. "I Just Want You to Know: Letters to My Kids on Love, Faith and Family" is scheduled for release April 13.
"Each day the thought crosses my mind that when they get older, my kids are going to look back and think about how they were raised," Kate Gosselin said in a statement. "I know they will have a lot of questions about things that may not make sense because they were raised so unconventionally. I don't want them to grow up and wonder; I want them to know without a shadow of a doubt how much I love them and how much every sacrifice made was worth it for them."
March 2, 2010: Break out the dancing shoes. On "Good Morning America," Kate Gosselin confirmed she's desperate to be the new queen of "Dancing with the Stars," despite the busy schedule brought on by her houseful of kids.
"I will be dancing in the basement" while the kids are in school or asleep for the night, she said. "That's the part I'm looking forward to. Beat my butt, because I need to do it. That part I'm not afraid of. Honestly, my mind is willing to do it. It's just making my body figure it out."