'Dancing with the Stars': Melora Hardin Says She'd Rather Have Her Score of 26 Than All Nines or 10s

The first week of Dancing with the Stars can be tough. Every celebrity is meeting their partner for the first time, and in most cases learning to dance for the first time. Viewers don’t expect scores too high on the first night of the season, and neither did Melora Hardin. Hardin scored a 26 out of 40 and she’s happy with that.

Hardin spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone on Sept. 22. She explained why 26 was a solid score and why she wouldn’t want to score any higher. See her second dance on Dancing with the Stars, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

The reasonable reason Melora Hardin likes her first ‘Dancing with the Stars’ score

In her Dancing with the Stars introduction, Hardin revealed she took ballet when she was younger. So, she remembered her ballet schooling when the four judges awarded her and Artem Chigvintsev a total of 26.

“I felt great about it,” Hardin told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “I thought it was a pretty good first score. The judges were enthusiastic and it was clear that they felt like I have potential. I was always one of those dancers in class that felt like if the teacher gave you corrections, that meant that they felt you have potential. Otherwise they would just ignore you and just let you dance however you wanted to dance.”

Melora Hardin took the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ judges’ feedback to heart

Each of the four judges gave Hardin some specific feedback she can work on in the coming weeks. Hardin said she appreciated it, because now she knows what to do. And she also felt validated that many judges picked up on her specific efforts. Bruno Tonioli complimented Hardin’s “great lines, great placement but at times you lose balance I think because of the core.”

“So I kind of loved that, that Bruno said hold your core a little more,” Hardin said. “I like that feedback. I love that Carrie Ann said she loved the ferocity of my dance. That was something I was bringing to it and that she saw that was really great.”

Inaba also said, “I have to give it up to the drama. You brought the drama to that dance and you brought the beautiful lines.” Derek Hough named Hardin a frontrunner. Hough said, “That had light and shade, all the dynamics. You had the control gliding across the floor. You threw yourself in those dips with control. We’re keeping an eye on  you, girl.”

“I love that Derek Hough talked about my commitment to the dance,” Hardin said. “That was also something that I was really going for. I felt like they saw me and that we have room to grow. We want room to grow and that’s great.”

Why a higher score would have been worse 

Other dancers scored lower than Hardin. Martin Kove seemed especially disappointed in his score. But, Hardin feels comfortable somewhere in the middle at 26. Higher scores are in her sights and she wouldn’t have wanted to hit them on night one of Dancing with the Stars.  

“I think it would’ve been really intimidating if we got a nine and a 10 or something ridiculous from them all,” Hardin said. “That would’ve freaked me out so to be honest. I thought it was a really nice, steady score that wasn’t too low and wasn’t too high. It was just sort of right in the middle and it feels comfortable, like we have somewhere to go. I can tell you one thing, I’m not going to become a professional ballroom dancer in four days of learning a dance that I’ve never danced in my life.” 

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