Kendra Wilkinson Kendra Wilkinson

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard may have lost his place on the Dancing With the Stars line-up, but he competed with joy and went out with a smile. That's not the case with reality star Kendra Wilkinson, who looks increasingly miserable as the weeks go by.

Last week, she couldn't seem to shake it off after getting blinded by an over-active smoke machine at the beginning of her rumba. Wilkinson had to dance down the three stairs from top of the stage to the ballroom floor through the smoke. "That was really scary," she said after the show. "I couldn't see where I was going, couldn't see the stairs, couldn't see Louis [Van Amstel, her pro partner], couldn't see anything." 

This week, she blamed her poor scores for the Viennese Waltz — which landed her on the bottom of the leader board — on hormone problems and getting dizzy during her spins. "I was dizzy all day," she said. Says Van Amstel, "Where it went wrong is that Kendra was very dizzy, so she looked a little out of it. People don't know that, but we know. Even to the point where we almost changed the choreography, because every turn was throwing her off."

But in front of the judges, she complained that she would be better if she were given more than three and a half days to learn her dances. 

Even though her husband, NFL free agent Hank Baskett, is always in the ballroom to support her, Kendra seems to be sinking under the weight of the competition, and no one — least of all the judges — seems to be able to snap her out of it. Even Van Amstel figuratively slapped her wrist after last night's show for telling Len Goodman and Carrie Ann Inaba that she "didn't care" about being elegant. "I must say I was quite disappointed with your comment," said Van Amstel, "because I know you care."

So what's really going on? Part of it seems to be that on this show, she can't charm everyone by just being herself — she has to actually accomplish something. And as she herself admits, she's a terrible perfectionist. "On this show," she says, "you have to be so perfect, or you lose. And on my show, I can make mistakes every second and I win. It's so different. It's a lot of pressure. And I'm not used to it. On my show, if I made a mistake, I just shook my butt. But here, you make a mistake, you freeze, and you're done."

It must be a painful new reality.

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