DWTS Season 12 Scoring Controversy: Romeo & Chelsie Still Believe Guest Judge Meant to Give an “8”
What is it with Dancing With the Stars Season 12 that the last dance of the night keeps causing so much trouble?
On Week 4, Kirstie Alley lost her shoe in her Waltz, which was the last dance of the night. On Week 6, Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff had their Paso Doble fall as the last dance of the night. And again on Week 7, the last routine of the night became the focus of controversy.
In the Celebriquarium after Romeo Miller & Chelsie Hightower's Samba, we waited for the four judges to reveal their scores. Before holding up his paddle, guest judge Donnie Burns leaned over to judge Carrie Ann Inaba and she whispered something like "Give him an 8" or "I gave him an 8." Donnie then revealed his 8 paddle and said “Eight!” Carrie Ann then revealed her 8 and Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli revealed a 7 and 8, respectively.
However, the little scores that show up on the screen said “7” for Donnie, and Brooke Burke said Romeo's total score was 30 out of 40, which was one point less than what three 8s and one 7 would've tallied.
Then Brooke said, “I think we’ve got a little bit of a problem. Hold on, let’s see what Donnie’s score was…”
Then Donnie held up the 7 paddle and said Romeo’s official score was really a 7, for a total of 30 out of 40. Tom Bergeron explained that Donnie had written down 7 but mistakenly held up the 8 paddle — and also said 8, which is weird.
That score snafu meant Romeo was tied for the bottom instead of tied for one place above the bottom. Talk about adding insult to injury! Poor Romeo.
And poor Donnie. He’s not the first judge to suffer paddle confusion, but usually they hold up one paddle and say a different number, immediately alerting everyone to their numerical deficiencies. Just last fall on DWTS’ ugly stepcousin, Skating With the Stars, judge Dick Button held up an 8 but said 7 and there was some confusion about what the heck he wanted.
As Brooke put it last night, it’s live television and these things happen. But should Romeo have been allowed the benefit of the doubt, since he was told an “8” to begin with? That one little score could make the difference between his life and death on this show.
Romeo & Chelsie talked to On the Red Carpet about the judges' comments and scores. They do wish Donnie had stuck with that 8 because they would’ve been higher on the leaderboard.
“I don’t know how you can pick up the wrong paddle, that’s all I’m gonna say,” Romeo said.
“I think, deep down in my heart, he really meant to give us that 8,” Chelsie said.
“I think so,” Romeo added. “That was like he stood us up on a date or something. You tell a girl you’re going to be there, you don’t show up?”