Despite a performance strong enough to earn a tie for second, actor-rapper Kyle Massey was in danger of being sent home. His spirited cha cha cha was good enough to send him to round two.
"The Hoff" tied with Margaret Cho and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino for last.
Hasselhoff's partner Kym Johnson got to dance only once before she, too, danced off into the sunset.
"I feel bad for Kym and actually bad for my daughters," Hasselhoff said. "They were shocked. They were like, 'You know, they shouldn't have given you a cha cha cha. They should have given you a waltz. You're so much better at the waltz.'
But you know what? It was a great ride and life goes on. Life's a journey and it was great fun."
Johnson felt the same way.
"I'm sad that we're going because I had so many more fun things I wanted to do with 'The Hoff' and I love being with him," Johnson said. "But, you know, it is what it is." Hasselhoff's next journey is Wednesday night, performing at a casino in Laughlin, Nevada.
The competition is now among the 11 remaining stars and their professional partners.
Next week, it's either the quickstep or the jive.
"We're totally bringing it next week," said comedienne Margaret Cho.
"America's going to have jive in their face," said Cho's partner, Louis van Amstel.
"We're going to jive all over their face," Cho added.
Bristol Palin appeared to be on the chopping block, but will dance another day.
"I'm now excited about this one because it's more proper and more sophisticated and not getting down and shaking my hips," Palin said.
"It's a quickstep, it's a completely different vibe this week," said Palin's partner, Mark Ballas. "It's all about being classy and elegant and being in frame for the whole thing."
Rock groups Santana and Daughtry performed at the show, which also feature a comedy act by Adam Corolla.
Monday's premiere drew 20.99 million viewers and marked a 22 percent increase in ratings among people aged 18 to 29 following last fall's debut.