“It is so hard to get out hard when you’re not a natural dancer,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who also noted that Barton’s “strong spirit” shined throughout the performance. “I just want to tell you that I have incredible respect for you, because I know it’s really difficult.”
It wasn’t a glowing review, but Inaba was certainly the most positive of the judges about Barton and Chigvintsev’s dance.
“It’s not in my nature to be nasty,” Len Goodman told the pair. “But that wasn’t dance, that was walking.”
“You have to work on your core... everything comes from your gut,” Bruno Tonioli agreed. “If not, it looks like you are slightly sedated. It’s not a performance that you can do as a close-up.”
Co-host Erin Andrews, who placed third in DWTS’ tenth season, cut the 30-year-old actress some slack backstage. In fact, she even admitted to fangirling over Barton’s appearance on the show.
“This is not easy to do when you don’t have a ballroom dance background,” Andrews admitted. “You’re vulnerable, it’s hard… But I love you, and I’m so glad you’re here.”
“It’s really tough,” Barton replied. “I think once you start to get some moves, hopefully you get a little bit better and pick it up faster… It’s been a road. It took a lot to even get there... I’ll just try harder next week.”
One person who did like Barton's dance? Her O.C. co-star Rachel Bilson, who Instagrammed her praise after the show.
"Got to give it up for @mischamazing takes balls," Bilson wrote. "Get it guurrrrlll! ❤️"
Barton and Chigvintsev, who earned a score of 16 out of 30 for the night, will have to either step it up in the coming weeks or rely on public support to keep them in the competition. But that support might be hard to come by, as Twitter has already sunk its claws into the actress’ disappointing first dance.
Barton didn’t receive the lowest score of the night, however. Geraldo Rivera and former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie earned those bottom of the barrel honors, scoring 13 and 15, respectively.