Rob Heffernan thinks Dancing With The Stars viewers are not just voting for who has the best dance skills but "on the way they come across on TV".
The Olympic walker is a friend of rugby star Tomas O'Leary who was the second competitor to be eliminated, despite not getting the lowest score from the judges.
Heffernan reckons how you come across as a person is just as important to your success on the show as how many hours of rehearsals you put in.
"We were all so close, it was a bit of a shock when Tomas left," he said. "That's just the show. It's an entertainment show as well.
"The public, I think, are not just voting on the dancing. They're voting on people's journeys and the way they're coming across on TV.
"The way voting goes, people might go, 'That person is safe', and they don't vote for you and then the next thing you know, you're out of the show."
Heffernan, who is partnered with Emily Barker, has been giving solid performances so far, and the pair have an average score of 20 points from their first four dances.
The Cork man said he has not let the judges' criticism affect his performance.
"I understand coming from sport and I know how opinionated I am with people in my sport when people are doing things right and wrong," said Heffernan at the launch of the Aldi Community Games Festivals.
"Emotionally, you can get upset initially, but when you take a step back and listen to what they say, they're not being nasty. You have to take their advice and apply it."
The national festivals will take place at the University of Limerick from May 25 to 27 and August 17 to 19 and will bring together the regional champions in friendly competition across a range of activities.
"The goal is to get every parish and community in the country to have their own sports. It's about participation and introducing people to sport," said Heffernan.