Dancing with the Stars has been home to not only many glorious performances, but also its share of controversial moments due to the regular flurry of fury that ensconces the judging process. Now, Carrie Ann Inaba is calling out fans for bullying her online over her arguably harsh criticisms for contestants such as Kaitlyn Bristowe. Inaba has been doing double duty appearing on both DWTS and The Talk, and she used the latter to discuss the dancing drama.
In case you missed that drama, the Dancing with the Stars dust-up is tied to Carrie Ann Inaba’s recent critique of The Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe during Villains Night, for which Bristowe dressed as 101 Dalmatians’ villain Cruella de Vil opposite her pro partner Artem Chigvintsev. The duo performed the paso doble for their routine, and Inaba did not hold back, saying that Bristowe appeared to have given up, and her “spirit dropped” during the dance. Inaba’s score, combined with her fellow judges, gave the Bristowe/Chigvintsev pairing a 24 for their performance, which many thought was too low. Inaba called Bristowe out again the following Monday for her lift not being up to snuff.
Since then, Kaitlyn Bristowe has spoken out about how she felt regarding Inaba’s assessment, saying her “soul was crushed” by the initial comments. And it turns out a bunch of fans also took issue with what they viewed as Inaba's attack. The DWTS judge is now responding to Dancing with the Stars fans who have bullied her over her remarks telling The Talk (via ET):
I want to tell people who bully, it doesn't make me change the way I judge. I'm not about to change because you try to bully me. It only makes me stand stronger in my convictions and what I believe in. . . . Just so you all know, for all of you trying to bully me about it. I judge the way I judge from my background. That is my job to do it and I will always do it based on my own conscience, not because you're trying to tell me what to do.
There you have it. The more you push Carrie Ann Inaba, the more she will apparently push back. Inaba is, of course, no stranger to getting heat for her Dancing with the Stars hot takes. She has already had to explain her legitimate reasoning behind her strict imposition of the “lift rule” earlier in the season, only for lifts to come back into play for Kaitlyn Bristowe. Inaba always docks a point for those who break it by putting in a lift in a no-lift dance style.
Carrie Ann Inaba’s comments make it clear that bullying will not move the needle on judging things how she sees them. On a separate note, Inaba has also opened up about her feelings regarding Tyra Banks replacing Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. Bergeron and Andrews were both let go from Dancing with the Stars ahead of Season 29. That controversy has inevitably gotten competition in the form of this season’s judging.
Those kinds of controversies tend to be par for the course on the popular ballroom competition. Carrie Ann Inaba has spoken openly about the disappointing way that the vote has turned out in seasons past. Despite her criticism of Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev’s performance, they are still in the competition, though fashion guru Jeannie Mai had to leave the show ahead of Monday's episode due to a health condition, so there was no double elimination.
Keep watching to see how Carrie Ann Inaba continues to judge when the next new episode of Dancing with the Stars airs. Season 29 continues the following Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. While you wait for it, check out what other shows are set to dance their way onto this fall’s schedule, and vote in the poll below.