'Dancing With The Stars' Pro Says Tabloids Affected Kate Gosselin's Performance

Tony Dovolani says he and Gosselin read the tabs 'every single day' while on the show.

You would think after starring in a reality-TV show and going through a very public divorce, Kate Gosselin would be used to being a favorite tabloid target. But her former "Dancing With the Stars" partner, Tony Dovolani, said the media scrutiny still gets to her, and it even affected her performance before they were eliminated from the show last month.

"What surprised me the most about working with her was how much the tabloids attack her. That really shocked me the most," Dovolani told MTV News at the third-annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic to benefit the Ann and George Lopez Foundation. "There are a lot of untrue stories about her. We read them every single day. It became entertaining. We would laugh at how much stuff people could actually make up. At times, yes, it affected her dancing. When you have a big bull's-eye on your back as she does, of course it bothers you. It affected me, and it wasn't directed at me."

Dovolani is convinced that what kept them on the show so long — despite the harsh criticisms they received from judges — was that women connected with Gosselin's story.

"People loved her as a mom," he said. "Every mom struggles and trying to keep a balance. One kid is a lot, let alone eight."

Now that he and Kate are out, who does Dovolani think is the front-runner in the show? ESPN reporter Erin Andrews.

"I love my girl Erin. She's dancing with my best friend Maks," he said. "Her personality, her dancing ability, her beauty — everything makes her the front-runner. I think she's hilarious. I think she's fantastic and she's what this show is about."

Who do you think should win this season of "Dancing With the Stars"? Share your thoughts in the comments.