Dancing With the Stars judge Len Goodman was happy to return to the ballroom after his one-week absence from Season 17, but some viewers are probably wishing Julianne Hough had stayed in that middle chair into Week 5.
Amber Riley and Derek Hough fans are particularly perturbed since, once again, Len called Derek out for his lack of “traditional” choreography during their Week 5 Foxtrot. This is a dance that Derek and Len know well. Derek even said that he prepped Amber for Len's concerns. Len wanted more time in hold, calling attention to the other dancers like Jack Osbourne, Corbin Bleu, and Bill Engvall who also had "worked their butts off to get the hold and posture."
Len wasn’t unkind about it, and he repeated that he loves Amber's dancing, but he has to judge the style. Derek seemed to understand, but it was still a surprise to see the three judges go for such different scores. Carrie Ann Inaba went for a 9. Bruno Tonioli gave the Foxtrot a 10. Len, on the other hand, gave it a 7, which is often his "not my cup of tea" score.
Fans booed a bit (although Bruno’s 10 took away a lot of the sting), and after the show many Amber and Derek supporters shared their angst against Grumpy Old Len. That said, Derek knew what he was getting into. It's not like Len was suddenly going to be fine with a Foxtrot with less hold. Derek’s choreography went for performance value over Len's score, and it didn't seem to hurt the couple in the end.
Are you upset with Len for his Amber/Derek score? For the most part, Len was in a good mood last night — even giving out the first 10 of the season to the ill-fated Christina Milian — but he was also tough on Leah Remini’s Contemporary, which also earned a 7 from him.
What do you think? Were Len’s comments and scores fair or unfair?
Catch the next episode of Dancing With the Stars Season 17 on Monday, October 21, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.