His scores Monday night may have been less than stellar, but Andy Dick's quirkiness and pledge to put his drug and alcohol problems behind him seemed to have won the hearts of two "Dancing with the Stars" judges.
Dick, a Joliet native and comedic actor who starred on TV shows NewsRadio and Less Than Perfect, made his television dancing debut with a rendition of the fox trot done to the song Witchcraft.
Prior to his performance, there was an interview in which he acknowledged the huge gift he was being given to revive his career through the show.
"This is the biggest opportunity I've ever had and it's undeserved because I've screwed up so many times. How many chances can a guy get, and this is the biggest one," Dick said.
"My drinking and drug use got out of control and I lost everything. It's been a bad couple of decades. ... I'm currently sober and working hard at it. To everybody that I ever wronged, I apologize. Let me turn it around."
There were also candid scenes in which he broke down in tears over how difficult he found the process of learning the dance.
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During his actual performance, Dick's dancing style was stilted but also had an endearing quality, judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba said.
"My dear Andy, it was like watching Woody Allen do the fox trot. ... neurotic twitch here and there," Tonioli said. "It could have been much, much smoother (but) I liked the slightly deranged side of it. It's comedic. It is a different interpretation."
Said Inaba: "There's something quite charming about you. You reminded me of the ugly duckling come to life. That's part of dancing, if it goes inside and it touches you, and it touched you with that dance. Yes, you've got to work on the pancake hands and the pancake feet, but beyond that you certainly touched a part of me."
Both awarded Dick 6 out of 10 possible points.
Only judge Len Goodman seemed unforgiving, and earned boos from the audience for it.
"Listen, the fox trot has got to have a smoothness, it has got to have a fluidity. This has the fluidity of RoboCop. It was all too jerky all the way through. (Interrupted by boos.) It's the truth. Why do you boo the old guy?"
Goodman's score was 5.
The only truly awkward part of the evening was Dick's post-dance intereview with host Brooke Burke, who asked if the pressure of the show could drive the comedic actor back to alcohol and drugs.
Dick didn't answer the question directly but did acknowledge that it would have been a disaster were he to have tried to tackle it before becoming clean.
"OK, so you went there," Dick said. "Um, this is the kind of thing, and everybody can attest to this, where you would drink, you would have a shot, and by the time you would hit the dance floor, you would be obliterated and it would be the fox crawl."
One of the celebrity dancers will be voted off the show next Monday. Joliet Patch will be watching to see how Dick fares.