updated 09/17/2013 AT 7:35 AM ET
•originally published 09/17/2013 AT 7:00 PM ET
If there’s a science to becoming a good dancer, it would be helpful to Bill Nye.
The former Bill Nye the Science Guy host, 57, is feeling blue after earning the lowest score – 14 points out of 30 for his science-themed cha cha with partner Tyne Stecklein – on Dancing With the Stars’s season 17 debut.
“I’m disappointed and I think that’s normal [to feel that way],” Nye told PEOPLE backstage after Monday night’s show. “I’m disappointed in myself and just, things. But what are you going to do?”
Stecklein said “I think [the judges] were a little hard on Bill tonight,” but Nye disagreed and said he didn’t think their critique was unjustified “at all.”
That said, he is keeping his chin up.
“They don’t care about you when you’re on top,” he noted. “They care about you when you come back. Watch out, next week, paso doble. People don’t regret what they do. They regret what they don’t do. I can’t let Tyne down.
A fan favorite, the scientist told reporters that having such a following is “the coolest thing. It’s fantastic.”