Dancing with the Stars' inaugural All-Stars season premiered last night and yet there is already ruckus surrounding the harsh scoring from the judges. After bringing in the night's lowest score, Pamela Anderson said she is already feeling the heat.
Anderson didn't refute her low total score of 17 (out of 30) and cited the season's high level of competition as ample grounds for the judges' tough grades; however, she revealed that she was fearful that she might not make it past the first elimination.
"It's a tough night because everyone is so talented. They can't give everyone high marks right away, and it gives everyone something to work towards," said Anderson, who originally appeared on Dancing's tenth season. "These guys are all great athletes [and] dancers...I feel like the underdog. I feel like 'Which one doesn't belong?' I feel like a fish out of water."
Although the average score for the night was just above 21, none of the celebrities or their dancing partners had any negative thoughts about the judges. As they explained, the competition is merely that intense this season.
"I think... they're just trying to raise the level of competition. Everybody's dancing so well," said Olympic speed skater Apollo Ohno, who won Dancing's fourth season with Julianne Hough. "Everybody's trying to bring their A-game for Week 1. I feel like our Week 1 was better than most of my weeks when I was at Season 4."
Whether the initial tough judging is a simple formula for the show's success or primarily due to the high level of talent, actress and Season 1 winner Kelly Monaco revealed that the dancers knew that the judges would come out strong.
"I think we all expected them to be that brutal," said Monaco, who then discussed her experience with the judges on Monday. "I have never ever, even in my winning day...had all three of them agree and be nice. So, it was a nice homecoming."
Dancing professional Mark Ballas, who is reuniting with his Season 11 partner Bristol Palin this All-Stars season, explained that the judges' tough scoring will only make the competition more interesting.
"It's an All-Star season. Everybody's been here before; it's not like they're not used to it," said Ballas, who also has two other former partners on the show this season. "It'll make people strive for perfection more and it'll keep it interesting, so it's good."
Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars continues tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.