updated 03/29/2011 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/29/2011 AT 1:40 PM ET
It’s only week two at Dancing with the Stars and emotions are already running high.
The reality star, who hopes the Dancing experience helps her overcome her stage fright, says she was rattled because she, like viewers at home, watched footage of her quickstep rehearsal. The video package showed the reality star in tears, emotional over the fact that she grew up a tomboy and now she’s dressing like a lady and trying to perform highly elegant moves on the dance floor.
“I’m 25 – I’m at my quarter-life crisis,” Wilkinson explains. “I’m growing up and I’m doing it while I’m on this show. And it’s so funny – a lot of people don’t want me to grow up. They go, ‘What happened to you?’ That’s why a lot of times I’m so stressed out because when I do grow up, people push me down, and when I’m too much of a kid people are like, ‘You have to grow up.’ ”
Though she had temporary second thoughts about stepping into the ballroom Monday, once her performance began, Wilkinson says, she felt secure.
“The audience pushed me through tonight,” she says, noting that the fans in the audience who shouted, “I love you, Kendra,” made all the difference.
“I’m so thankful for them,” she says. “I’m happy people out there have faith in me. I know I can do this.”
Dancing’s live results show will air Tuesday (9 p.m. ET) on ABC – and the season’s first eliminated couple will be announced.