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'DWTS' Backstage Q&A: Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff Sound Off on Their Exit

by Michael Maloney, posted May 18th 2011 7:00AM
Tom Bergeron, Brooke Burke, Karina Smirnoff, Ralph MacchioRalph Macchio's fans rallied to save him from being ejected last week on 'Dancing With the Stars,' but this week there just weren't enough votes to keep him safe and send him to next week's finals.

The fan favorite had promised to include some moves from 'The Karate Kid' in his freestyle dance, but that's off the table now that he's not in the finals.

Macchio and his partner Karina Smirnoff talked to TV Squad on the post-show press line. The couple expressed their gratitude for being paired together and for their journey. They were also quite frank about why they feel they were voted off of the program.

Any guesses as to why they think they're gone? Here's a hint: Macchio's on-air "thank you's" included just about everyone -- except the show's judges.

"It was a tough deficit to [surpass]," said Macchio, who scored a mere 48 points (out of a possible 75 in the semi-finals.) "But it was a great journey."

The actor went out on a sentimental touch, wearing the same velvet jacket in the semi-finals that he wore in the show's first week where he earned the top score for his Foxtrot.

"I went to bed on Monday night thinking this was it," he shared.

Karina Smirnoff and Ralph MacchioMacchio felt that there were several factors working against him: Chelsea Kane picked up an additional 15 points in a Cha-cha-cha competition on Monday, the fan bases belonging to Hines Ward and Kirstie Alley are pretty large.

Also, he and Smirnoff felt that the show's judges -- Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli -- weren't really in their corner.

"We were put at [a deficit] by the judges' scores and comments," Macchio said. "They were rude and disrespectful. I wasn't sure that even the biggest fan base could overcome that."

"They said everything but, 'We don't want you in the finals,'" suggested Smirnoff.

"My Tango [on Monday night] was very strong, maybe not my best, but it was solid," Macchio offered. The judges gave it a 25 and awarded their Salsa a 23 while other couples earned scores of 27, 28 and 30 for their dances.

Smirnoff wasn't saying that the other couples aren't deserving of their finalist spots. "Chelsea's young, vibrant and she comes from Disney, which is the same family [that broadcasts 'DWTS']. Hines is a great performer. He gets on that floor and the judges drool.

"At the end of the day, this is a TV show," she added. "Fair, unfair -- it really doesn't matter. We had something that you can't create, fake or force. We truly enjoyed every moment. We clicked with each other from day one. With or without the finals or the mirrorball trophy we had something bigger than all of this."

Karina Smirnoff and Ralph Macchio"I have to look at this as the beginning of our friendship," Macchio added.

True to his word, the couple won't be incorporating Macchio's "crane" move in the finale. "[The show] was actually asking for us to go back and choreograph our freestyle [anyway]," Smirnoff said. "But I don't think that would be fair."

"I always said that if I'd been voted through to the finals those promises [about doing a 'Karate Kid' move] would have been kept," said Macchio, "but at this point we'll pick out one of our signature dances [for our last performance next week.]"

Which dance will that be?

"We'll ask our fans on Twitter what they'd like to see," Smirnoff said.

'Dancing With the Stars' airs Mondays at 8PM ET and Tuesdays at 9PM ET on ABC.

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refugiagonzalez

Kristy suck sine the begging of the season.She could hardley move . All the dance were consit of walking and turing and dont forget her shoe fell off. Hello, Hello , did everybody see it. Ralph really work hard at his routines. U cant compare Romeo ,who dance good but in a different way that did not go with the dance. DWS judges SUCK they robbed ralph the chance to go to the finals. They realize that ralph had millions of fans that kept in the compettion . So they changes the rules and they give him the lowest score, that that even the votes from his fans could save him.I was so sadden and angry the These NO GOOD FOR NOTHING JUGDES , the fossile and the gay one and the other could stoop so low in robbing ralph from this chance at the final.The older the judges get the stupid they are and hateful. RALPH YOU ARE A WINNER .tHE JUDGES CAN STICK THE TROPHY WHERE THE SUN DONT SHINE.

May 21 2011 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cal314

Ralph sucked...He got a little better as the weeks went by but I thought he should have been out the week before. I think Romeo was a better dancer than Ralph and Kristie but not as popular with the fan base. I do think the judges were a little rude with Ralph and Romeo and it influenced the voters some. I get tired of people making excuses when someone busts his or her ass when they fall or get injured. I do feel Chelsea and Hines are clearly the best dancers and I give a slight nod to Chelsea. i only tune in once in awhile now because DWTS is nothing but a popularity contest with the best dancers losing or being eliminated early. Mya and Ali's daughter should have won and Brandy and Lil Kim were bumped way to soon. Len seems to be very bias to certain personalities and Romeo and Ralph fell victim to that. They both were much better than Kristie though I admire her spirit. The judges should have some kind of vote to keep a dancer on who they know is being ROBBED.

May 19 2011 at 7:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
togo47

DWTS has become a TV political game favoring one contestant over the other. I say get rid of the judges and leave the voting results up to the viewers. We do not need insulting comments from the judges who destroy the efforts of contestants like Ralph experienced. No need for that. A teacher would praise a student for 'effort' such as Ralph deserved after his leg injury. Ralph is a youthful looking, wholesome and energetic man who put his heart and soul into performing with Karina. Maybe he wasn't the best dancer but he certainly did not need the insults. Would a student learn from a teacher if he was continually criticized? Bruno should be tied to his chair to keep him from jumping up and down like a puppet or making sexual comments. And I believe the professionals should stay away from perfoming dangerous gymnastics instead of what the show is all about .....DANCING. The Fred Astaire era was gracious dancing with some tap dancing involved at times. Now that's entertainment !
I really do not care who wins now because I think the show is unfair. Best of luck to Ralph in his future endeavors.

May 19 2011 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Peggy

I believe Ralph and Karina should have won. Kirstie is cute but her rhythm could use lots of improvement. Bruno is rude, crude and lewd....shame on him.

May 18 2011 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joan

Rooting for Kirstie and Maks. But I thought Ralph and Karina did a great job and I have no idea why the judges were so hard on them. They deserved much better scores. While it's true someone had to be eliminated, I don't think Ralph and Karina deserved the judges' harsh and over-the-top comments. It looks as if the judges just had it in for them. Some contestants can seem to do no wrong and others can't do anything to please them at all. Not fair. I'll miss Ralph.

May 18 2011 at 2:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Shelia

ralph and karina got screwed, he was way better than kirsty. disney is a powerful force they want chelsea in there.
i say everybody vote for hines and kim

May 18 2011 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda M

One more thing ABC - nice lesson to teach about cheating and changing the rules!!!

May 18 2011 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda M

Shame the Judges and ABC cheated to get Chelsea in the finals!!! It was so obvious even before Chelsea danced that she was getting the 15 points to carry her into the finals... Can't understand why Chelsea got a free pass into the finals...especially when her partner has been a big whiner all season long and giving the judges jerk off hand signals...not the kind of person I really want to see in the finals with that attitude. The whole thing is a big slap in the face for the fans.... I am so surprised by the blatant CHEATING!!!

May 18 2011 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
G.

Len, Carrie Ann and Bruono have had it in for Ralph due to Ralph's enormous popularity at the beginning, and because the three judges don't exude class, popularity, and professionalism that Ralph does. Jealousy (judges)always plays a part in this. What amazes me is that the VIEWERS ALWAYS allow themselves to be INFLUENCED by these judges. If the judges say "you are not good", then the viewer will think, "yeah he/she are no good" and vote in favor of the judge's scoring. That to me is very sad, as these viewers don't have a mind of their own. I myself voted for Hines at the beginning, but then I saw that his dances were not progressing, and they always looked the same, (viewing the videos, he never kept up with Kym in kicks, rhythm, turns, etc.) and worse is when the judges were so unprofessional with their judging. I run several dance studios, and ALL my instructors (as well as myself) were shocked at how they continually disregarded Ralph's performances. Even when he was injured he tried. And something else too...Kym was never hurt...Hines knew EXACTLY where to jump (football player, and they know the tricks), and I as a dancer (as well as Kym) KNOW that if she was REALLY hit that way, TRUST me she would not have been that great of shape to dance the next day. I believe she said she could NOT feel her arms. Can someone wipe away tears if one cannot feel their arms? Hmmm...that was interesting. We (my instructors and I), as dancers, teach our students the fundementals, and we used DWTS as a tool. However, after watching such displays as "unprofessionalism", childish remarks, unwarranted scoring, and vulgarity, we have chosen not to use DWTS as a tool anymore. It is really sad because at one point, we felt that (DWTS) would be something good for children, who in this day and age, need SOMETHING to take their aggression out on, something constructive and fun (instead of the bad choices the kids make, and as a result, get them into trouble). Now, seeing that DWTS has fallen into the category of "right from wrong" but will make the WRONG choice (judge incorrectly and NOT giving criticism in the CORRECT WAS regarding ones DANCES (technique, rhythm, and most important PROGRESSION), and NOT on what a person wears (a professional dancer whether male or female were costumes, as that goes with the territory of being a dancer, ESPECIALLY BEING ON TELEVISION OR STAGE, and whether there is VERY litte or A LOT of material is "irrelevant), as MOST times the arranger/wardrobe person makes the majority of that decision, OR how one talks, or walks, attitude, or anything for that matter EXCEPT their DANCE/PROGRESSION (including how one fares with an injury or not (if it is real, of course), is HOW one is JUDGED PERIOD. The three judges are more "performers" than PROFESSIONAL JUDGES OR PROFESSIONAL DANCERS, as ANY "REAL" JUDGE would tell you. Judge on performance and YOUR judgement. I did until last week. My ONLY choice NOW is Chelsea.

May 18 2011 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dkcincos

Whiners.

May 18 2011 at 12:56 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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