David Hasselhoff eliminated, upsetting DWTS producers who thought he’d draw viewers

Dancing with the Stars 11 has lost its first contestant, and it is former America’s Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff. Before he was eliminated, he joked that the stress of waiting to find out was probably “America’s Got Talent payback.”

This is mildly surprising elimination, although he did tie for the lowest judges’ score with The Situation and Margaret Cho, but usually a lesser-known person goes before a better-known worse dancer. The Situation and Bristol Palin were kept around until the end, probably to create drama, and the one surprise, relatively unknown contestant this season was the last one left standing next to the Hoff. That’s So Raven actor Kyle Massey seemed like a sure thing to go home despite his high judges’ score, but he manged to earn enough viewer votes to stay.

The Hoff’s exit has freaked out the show’s producers, who apparently considered him one of their A-list D-listers. Host Tom Bergeron wrote on Twitter Tuesday that “producers seem rattled by who is going tonight. Guess they had high hopes for this star (aka thought they’d be ratings draw).”

I’m not so sure I agree; he’s well-known, but few people, if any, watched Dancing with the Stars or America’s Got Talent for him alone.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.