Shannen Doherty on 'Dancing With the Stars': She Did It for Her Dad

Doherty and Mark Ballas talk to "GMA" about "Dancing With the Stars."

March 30, 2010, 11:40 AM

March 31, 2010— -- Shannen Doherty was the first celebrity sent home this season from "Dancing With the Stars," but she impressed the person who matters most: her dad.

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" today. "He was crying, and he said, 'I love you and I'm proud of you.'"

Doherty and partner Mark Ballas, a two-time "Dancing With the Stars" champion, were in seventh place after the first two weeks. Doherty was "swinging her arms like a primate," judge Bruno Tonioli said during the premiere, while Carrie Ann Inaba called her "out of sync." But all the judges praised her energetic jive in week two.

"It was Pam [Anderson] and myself, and I definitely think that was surprising for both of us," Doherty said.

Ballas sustained an injury during rehearsal and could not have continued with the season if the two hadn't been voted off.

"I hurt my knee a little bit in the dress rehearsal," he said, adding that "there's no major problems."

He thought his partner had "a lot of potential" for someone without any dancing experience.

"I thought she did excellent," he said.

Doherty is best known for her role as Brenda Walsh on the hit television series "Beverly Hills, 90210." Her former co-stars, Jennie Garth and Ian Ziering, both finished fourth on their seasons of "Dancing With the Stars."

She may carry the reputation of a bad girl in Hollywood, but she set out to do "Dancing With the Stars" with good intentions. Her father was her inspiration, Doherty told "GMA" special correspondent Melissa Rycroft during rehearsals.

"My father, on Christmas, had a massive stroke," she said. "He's had eight heart attacks, quintuple bypass heart surgeries and dialysis. [He's in] really bad health. He got really excited about 'Dancing With the Stars' and wanted me to do it."

"He asked me to do it and I can't ever say no to my dad," she said on the show.

She was moved by the response to her situation from the audience.

"It's really touching and a lot of people can relate to it," she said.

'Dancing With the Stars' Season 10 Kicks Off With a Bang

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 Inaba and Tonioli for their jive. Tonioli called her performance "phenomenal."

"I have never seen a jive that good the second week," he said.

Scherzinger admitted in practice to being a little afraid of judge Len Goldman, and he lived up to his tough reputation.

He told Scherzinger, "I think you are a very talented dancer, you just need to do something that satisfies my taste."

Following close behind Scherzinger in total points were Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek with 47/60, sportscaster Erin Andrews with 44/60 and Pamela Anderson with 43/60.

But Anderson and partner Damian Whitewood were in the bottom two during Tuesday night's elimination.

"You have so much sex appeal [that] people forget, but you can dance Pamela," Tonioli said of her foxtrot in week two. Inaba said the actress "channeled Marilyn Monroe."

Kate Gosselin's partner, Tony Dovolani, walked out of a rehearsal, saying, "I quit," and "I've never been questioned as a teacher before" in a clip that aired Monday night. He returned to practice and the two performed a second-week jive to "I'm Still Standing," but Gosselin didn't show much improvement from her debut. Tonioli called the dance "a nightmare."

Goodman told her that "nerves are breaking you at the moment. What's the worst thing that could happen? Come out and go for it. Go out fighting."

Buzz Aldrin Still Struggling

Another subpar performance came from astronaut Buzz Aldrin, whose two-dance total of 26 out of 60 points put him at the bottom of the pack.

Still, his foxtrot to "Fly Me to the Moon" earned a standing ovation from the crowd, and he'll be back next week. Goodman said, "I'm not going to try to criticize, I think you inspire people."

"The Bachelor" Jake Pavelka was praised for his "great energy" by Tonioli, and Inaba said he was "a joy to watch."

Even Goodman said the pilot showed "a lot of potential."

Forty million people watched the first night of "Dancing With the Stars," making it the most-watched premiere ever. The star-studded cast also included NFL star Chad Ochocinco, actor Aiden Turner and host and comedienne Niecy Nash.

Doherty and Ballas said it's difficult to pick a winner.

"I'm pretty impressed with everyone," Doherty said. "I love Chad. Not only is he an absolute teddy bear but I think he's got so much heart and he's trying really hard. I'm definitely rooting for Chad."

Ballas said, "Nicole's looking really, really strong. It's a great cast this season."

Watch "Dancing With the Stars" Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events