The Dancing with the Stars judges did not fall in love with “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile. The Bachelor in Paradise fan favorite, who shot to fame after getting kicked off the first episode of Becca Kufrin’s Bachelorette season, was a fish out of water during his debut on the ABC celebrity ballroom competition. But judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli showed him no mercy when they scored his debut dance with pro partner Jenna Johnson, saddling him with the lowest score on opening night.
Amabile and Johnson danced the quickstep to the appropriately titled Leo Soul song, “Fish Out of Water,” but #TeamCHECKusOUT landed at the bottom of the barrel with a lowly 14 points, including a dreaded “4” from grumpy judge Len Goodman.
Now, the Bachelor Nation star is at risk of getting sent home after the first night of yet another ABC reality show.
In a post-show interview with Entertainment Weekly, Amabile admitted that he was extremely nervous about his first live dance on Dancing with the Stars.
“I was just really nervous. In the middle of the dance, I got into my head and forgot my steps.”
Jenna Johnson revealed that she and Amabile only had two and a half weeks to prepare for the premiere, but that “rehearsals don’t compare to what it’s like to go live.” Johnson also reminded Amabile that the DWTS judges are “always harsh” on the first night and that they typically “score low.”
“You still want to do well,” Amabile said.
The former produce buyer admitted ahead of his Dancing with the Stars journey that he doesn’t “know how to dance,” and that he was embarrassed to be eliminated from The Bachelorette on the first night. Even though Becca Kufrin didn’t fall in love with him, fans did, so he scored a spot on Bachelor in Paradise, where he met new girlfriend Kendall Long.
In his Dancing with the Stars video package, Amabile said, “I’m from Chicago, Kendall lives in L.A., so it’s great because now I get to be close to her. And I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do and dance.”
For the second night of the two-night Dancing with the Stars premiere, Amabile will dance another quickstep, this time to the song “Check It Out” by Oh the Larceny, before the first eliminated couple is announced. Fans of the Bachelor Nation star hope he won’t be checking out of the ballroom for good.
You can see Joe and Jenna’s quickstep below.
Dancing with the Stars airs Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8/7c on ABC.