‘DWTS’: D.L. Hughley on His Rock-Bottom Score: ‘I’m Just Not a Good Dancer’

"DWTS": D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke (Photo: ABC)

Comedian D.L. Hughley entered “Dancing with the Stars” history during the Monday night premiere by getting one of the lowest scores ever on the show.

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D.L. received just 12 points out of 30 for his incredibly awkward cha cha cha with partner Cheryl Burke. He joined memorable bottom-dwellers such as Master P, who was the lowest scoring “DWTS” celebrity ever with an 8 during Season 2, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who earned only a 10 during his 2009 stint on “DWTS.” Like D.L., Season 3’s Tucker Carlson and comedian Jeffrey Ross, who appeared on Season 7, both received 12’s for dances.

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With pro partner Cheryl Burke by his side, D.L. didn’t try to make excuses after the show. “I don’t think it was nerves, I’m just not a good dancer,” he sighed to reporters. “I’m a little bit embarrassed because I wanted to do better, but anyone that knows me knows that I am not the type of cat to run away, so I would rather go out on my feet than on my knees and we’ll see what happens.”

In fact, the former “The Hughleys” star wanted “DWTS” fans to know he’ll keep trying, and with no elimination show this week, the comedian will get another chance to try and turn his dancing around. “I’ve never been afraid to lose and come back. I’m also not a coward,” he said. “I definitely will not let this happen this way again. It’ll never happen like this again.”

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Meanwhile, his loyal partner Cheryl couldn’t have sounded more supportive. “I think he definitely tried his best and for the short amount of time we had for rehearsing, he definitely did his best,” she said. “He danced way better in the dress rehearsals so I was just happy that we got through it and we had fun. I told him, ‘You may not be the best technical dancer, but you can sell it with your personality.’ What he has over a lot of people in this competition is his personality and how funny he is, so [I told him] just make fun of it when you go out there, don’t be so preoccupied with the technical part of the dance.”

Cheryl is determined to turn things around so they won’t go home after next week’s second dance. “We’re just going to work hard and the quickstep is a whole new dance, we have a couple of days to learn a whole new dance, so that’s going to be difficult, we’re just going to have to put in the time.”

D.L. claimed he wasn’t surprised that fellow comedian Andy Dick did so well on Monday night, only scoring a 17, but endearing himself to the audience. “I always thought Andy would be one to watch because I think he’s the kind of guy who dances from his soul,” D.L. said. “That’s difficult to do. I’m the kind of guy who is a more reserved and not used to doing what I am uncomfortable doing, so this was a bit of a shock to the system. I’m certainly not used to having my ass whipped on national television.”

Cheryl admitted this was the first time she’d ever received such a low score with any partner. “Yes this was a first, but hey, it’s okay. There is always a first,” she said.

D.L. described his first “DWTS” experience as “a weird dynamic, like wearing tight shoes so you feel good when you take them off, but that’s unfortunately where we are at right now.”

He admitted the judges, who gave him brutal critiques, “were right and part of getting better at anything is accepting whatever flaws you have and working on them.

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“I’m not necessarily angry because I don’t think whatever they did came from a place of malice. I am a cat who hasn’t danced in 30 years so it was literally like a college professor talking to a kindergarten student about what he didn’t do right. Ultimately, it’s my responsibility to do a better job and work till my feet bleed and see what we can do.”

When asked if he rehearsed as hard as he should have, D.L. said, “I felt like I divided my time between my job and other responsibilities. I also think I paid for it, so we’ll have to do it better. To do better than we did, I’m going to have to get a different type of clock. I’m on the road every week, developing a TV show, a documentary I just did got nominated for an award, but I don’t think I was necessarily as ready as I could have been and that is no fault of Cheryl. It was just me doing all the things I was doing. I’m just going to have to do a much better job.”

The first celebrity of Season 16 will be eliminated on next Tuesday’s results show, airing at 9/8c on ABC.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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