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."

ByABC News via GMA logo
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.