‘Dancing With the Stars’ Pro Says Premiere Was ‘Rough’


ABC/Eric McCandless "Dancing With the Stars" season 31 cast.

New “Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Koko Iwasaki is opening up about her time on the show’s premiere.

Iwasaki is partnered with “Jersey Shore” alum Vinny Guadagnino, and the couple received low scores after performing their dance at the premiere. At the end of the episode, they were near the bottom of the leaderboard, though they did not end up in the bottom two at the tail end of the episode.

Iwasaki is the only new professional dancer on season 31 of the show. All the other pros have been partnered with a celebrity at least two times.

Iwasaki Says the Premiere Was Rough

When she got home, Iwasaki took to her Instagram Stories to talk about the premiere and thank her fans.

“From the bottom of my freaking heart, thank you for voting for us,” she said in the video. “And thank you for letting us stay in this competition to show you guys another week of what we can do. Today was pretty rough, not gonna lie.”

She said that since it was her first time out there, she had a lot of different feelings, getting a little emotional during the video.

“I think with this night comes improvement, and I’m very hopeful,” she said. “I’m so proud of Vinny. He did amazing, and I just can’t wait for us to grow, and I really hope you just believe in us. I promise.”

Some Fans Think the Pair Was Judged Too Harshly

Guadagnino and Iwasaki performed a salsa to “Tití Me Preguntó” by Bad Bunny. Though the two did struggle a bit throughout the performance, getting off the beat at one point and not being completely in sync with one another, the judges seemed to be rougher with them than with other couples who fans thought were just as bad.

Ultimately, they earned 4s and 5s from the judges, ending up with a 17 out of 40, putting them at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Guadagnino’s former co-star, took to Twitter to say that she thought he deserved a higher score.

“I DISAGREE WITH THE JUDGES!!! Vinny did freakin amazing, everyone vote! #dwts,” she wrote on Twitter.

People seemed to agree with her, with one person responding “Me to all the judges rn” alongside a gif of a woman yelling “How Dare You!”

“I did see timing issues but that wasn’t a 4 at all!” one person wrote. “He deserved better!”

Another person wrote, “he did way better than people who got higher votes. It’s like they were all over the place with how they scored people.”

“YES! I feel like they judged him harshly and I gave him all my votes!” one tweet reads. “Fingers crossed he makes it past this week and doesn’t let the judges get him.”

Since Iwasaki and Guadagnino did not end up in the bottom two despite having a low score from the judges, that means they have a large army of people supporting them. They’ll move on to perform during the second week of the competition, which is themed Elvis Night.

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