"After doing the 'Dance Off' -- which I don't understand the whole thing, how that works -- I thought after that and the response from the judges and the audience that I had a shot at staying," said Richards during a Tuesday night Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance that followed her Dancing with the Stars elimination.
"I really didn't think I was going."
However the Denise Richards: It's Complicated star and her partner were booted despite winning the "Dance Off" against The Girls Next Door star Holly Madison and partner Dmitry Chaplin due to their lack of home viewer votes in comparison to Madison and Chaplin.
"I really did have a good time. I love the show, I will still be a fan. It was fun," Richards told Kimmel. "I wish I lasted longer, but I didn't. It's okay."
During the interview, Kimmel also made sure to his share his theory that Dancing with the Stars' "beautiful women get eliminated earlier in general" with Richards.
"That's why I thought having Maks as a partner -- women loving him -- they would have kept him around," replied Richards.
In addition, Richards offered Kimmel her thoughts on how Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak and partner Karina Smirnoff received the lowest score of the week -- and the lowest score in six seasons -- yet were still able to stave off elimination.
"I think Steve just went out there and had fun. He's very entertaining," said Richards. "I didn't know that he was going to be one of my biggest competitors."
Richards went even so far as to state that it's "very possible" that Wozniak "could win."
"America loves him and he is probably one of the happiest people I've ever met," she said.
The E! reality star said she had been approached about participating in the show previously but had decided against it until asked to compete on the eighth season.
"I'm a huge fan of the show and my daughters and I watch it, so I thought it would be fun to do and something they can watch together," said Richards before Kimmel asked if her two young daughters voted.
"They're a little too young to be calling in, but they were excited," replied Richards.
E! renewedDenise Richards: It's Complicated for a second season last October, and she told Kimmel that filming both that and Dancing with the Stars made her life "very challenging."
"I'm shooting my show at the same time. So it took up a lot of time," she said. "But I'd be lying if I said I'm glad that I'm eliminated."
Richards added that her brief Dancing with the Stars stint will be featured during at least one Denise Richards: It's Complicated second-season episode.
"We're doing eight episodes, and we have one episode that's just about [Dancing with the Stars]," she said. "Otherwise, it would be a little [monopolistic] for the season."