Debbie Gibson emotionally revealed to “Dancing with the Stars” viewers how Lyme disease had caused physical pain and made her a recluse.
Then, after performing a beautiful foxtrot on the Monday night season 25 premiere, she told FOX 411 that the ballroom is a minefield for her because of the illness.
“I have sensitivities to perfumes, colognes, hair spray, electromagnetics, smoke on the dance floor,” the 1980s singing sensation sighed.
“I don’t do the spray tan because of the chemicals. I have to be really careful. Food sensitivities and chemical sensitivities are really big in Lyme disease.”
Gibson told reporters that she can’t even show her friendship for veteran “DWTS” pro Cheryl Burke (who dances with football player Terrell Owens) because of symptoms: “I can’t hug Cheryl Burke because she wears so much perfume and we joke about it, I said, ‘Please, one day come in without perfume so I can give you a big squeeze.’ If I hug too many people with perfume my nervous system basically shuts down.”
The “Lost In Your Eyes” singer is seeing a chiropractic kinesiologist who treats her with “energetic medicine”; she also takes supplements.
Despite her disease, Gibson earned a score of 17 out of 30 for her foxtrot with partner Alan Bersten.
And she wasn’t the only “DWTS” celebrity overcoming obstacles. Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen, who recently learned to walk after spending nearly a decade paralyzed from the waist down, got a score of 19 with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
Arlen touched viewers in her TV rehearsal footage by telling Val, “If I fall, I apologize.”
Ex-“Malcolm in the Middle” star Frankie Muniz also has had a hard time, telling pro Witney Carson that he broke his back and ribs while racing cars. But “DWTS” judges rewarded Muniz for a foxtrot performance Carrie Ann Inaba found “endearing,” earning 19 points.
It was incredible YouTube violinist Lindsey Sterling and her partner Mark Ballas and “Hamilton” singer/actor Jordan Fisher (with Lindsay Arnold), however, who tied for first place on Monday night with scores of 22.
Sterling told FOX 411 after the show, “It was so fun. The choreography was fast, it was sharp and we feel like we really nailed it. It’s this joy you can’t describe. It’s electric; it’s exciting.”
Nick Lachey, who earned 18, and his wife Vanessa Lachey, who got 21 points, competed against each other on the premiere. Vanessa cried on camera after getting her score and explained to FOX 411 afterwards with partner Maks Chmerkovskiy that her emotion flowed because, “We worked so hard for so long and it all came to fruition.”
Married “Shark Tank” businesswoman Barbara Corcoran provided comic relief by flirting with partner Keo Motsepe on camera, even putting her hand a little too far up his leg!
She insisted to reporters later with tongue firmly in cheek, “There was no crotch grab. I just happened to land my hand on that very important part.”
But Corcoran, whose score of 14 out of 30 was the night’s lowest, told FOX 411 of her salsa, “It wasn’t as good as I had hoped but I enjoyed every little speck of it. It was such a gift to be here.”
Wrestler Nikki Bella received 20 points from judges for tango and commented to reporters after body-slamming partner Artem Chigvintsev during the dance, “I felt really strong tonight.”
“Property Brothers” star Drew Scott found the experience exhilarating and he and pro Emma Slater were satisfied with his score of 16.
Former NBA coach and player Derek Fisher scooped up 18 points guided by Sharna Burgess; former “Pretty Little Liars” actress Sasha Pieterse, whose parents were ballroom dancers, cha-cha-ed with partner Gleb Savchenko to a score of 18; and Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke received 15 for the second lowest ranking, just above Corcoran.
The whole gang will be back again next week, when “DWTS” will be a two-night double elimination spectacular.