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October 24, 2014

On the Scene: Are the 'Dancing With the Stars' Judges Getting ... Nicer?

by Michael Maloney, posted Oct 5th 2010 10:30AM
Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli Were the 'Dancing With the Stars?' judges a bit kinder on Monday night's week 3?

The stars and dancers think so, but not because Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli were trying to make up for being extremely harsh on Michael Bolton last week. (Bolton was ejected after dancing a disappointing jive that Bruno called the worst in 11 seasons of 'DWTS.')

"Last week some of the comments were definitely harsh," said Anna Trebunskaya. "This week everyone got scared of those comments so they worked really hard and we had a great show as a result. We [all] did our absolute best."

"The judges may have come in thinking, 'We can't be as rough as we were last week,'" agreed her partner Kurt Warner. "But I think everyone earned their [positive] scores and [higher] marks this week."

Goodman prefaced his critique of Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino's futuristic fox trot by saying it wasn't in his nature to be nasty -- and then called the reality TV star's performance "bizarre." Did the Situation think Goodman was too critical? "No," the 'Jersey Shore' performer responded. "They had some harsh words tonight. But this is what they do. They're judges and it's a television show. It's their job to be the comedic villains."

The Situation concurs with Warner that the judges weren't necessarily nicer this week, but that instead they simply "saw better dances."

"The judges go through mood swings," said Tony Dovolani. "Sometimes they like things, but when they don't they really don't."

Audrina Patridge and Dovolani were the night's top-ranking couple (with 26 points), despite the fact that the 'Hills' star had an injured ankle. "It's good," she said. "It's a minor sprain. I took some ibuprofen and pushed through it."

Surprisingly, Dovolani's much-anticipated leg-waxing segment (he said he'd get his legs waxed if he didn't score a 24 last week) was only briefly addressed in a video segment. The pain was negligible, too, he said, thanks to some Sally Hansen waxing products. "I have no bumps or anything," he happily reported

The evening's lowest scoring duo, Margaret Cho and Louis Van Amstel, made the most passionate post-dance speech to host Brooke Burke. "We wanted to dance for the kids we've lost," Cho said, referring to the five gay teenagers across the United States who recently committed suicide. "I want to reach out to those gay teens who feel lost and that there's no place to go except for suicide. I've been there. I know what it feels like. I want to say to them, 'Stay with us. It's going to be OK.'"

Brandy Norwood scored not only a higher score (24) and favorable comments than she did last week, but the video package shown before her dance cleared the air about her seemingly strained dynamic with pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. "I wanted our relationship to be portrayed the way it really is," she said.

Asked to weigh in on the comments controversy, Chmerkovskiy, flashing his trademark "bad boy" smile, simply said, "I plead the fifth."

Kyle Massey and partner Lacey Schwimmer scored a respectable 23 points, but Goodman still managed to get in a dig at them, calling Massey's footwork "atrocious."

"We came up with a solution," Schwimmer said. "'Atrocious' actually means awesome!"

The judges' comments towards Bolton haven't totally severed his ties with the show. The ejected crooner is coming back for tonight's results show to perform as a singer now that Susan Boyle has canceled due to illness.

Perhaps Bruno and Len will have kinder comments about Bolton's singing?

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