"I didn't even recognize myself on TV," she says. "I looked like a mermaid"

By Mark Gray
March 28, 2011 08:00 AM
Bob D'Amico/ABC

If Dancing with the Stars were filmed in a nightclub, Kendra Wilkinson would feel more at ease.

“I need to think, this is the club and I need to go out there and show what I really got,” the reality star – and DWTS contestant – told PEOPLE this weekend, while hosting a party at the MGM Grand’s Wet Republic in Las Vegas.

The Kendra star, 25, who received a lukewarm reception during the first week of the ABC show, said nerves got the better of her and that that she simply needs to let loose and remind herself that she’ll never be a professional ballroom dancer.

“I hate how everyone is taking this so serious. People just need to relax and look at it as entertainment, as funny, as fun,” she said. “Don’t look at it like we’re supposed to be pros.”

One of the best things about the show, she said, is that the intense practice sessions haven’t affected her time with her 15-month-old son, Hank Jr., because he usually sleeps while she’s practicing and wakes when she’s home.

But, there is one thing she has to do on the show that she was not prepared for: getting “dolled up.”

“I lived at the Playboy Mansion, and I was dolled up every now and then. This is like intense dolled up, blue eyeshadow and hair out to outer space,” she said. “I didn’t even recognize myself on TV. I was like, who is that? I looked like a mermaid.”