On Switch Up Week 4, Len Goodman and Carrie Ann Inaba called out Peta Murgatroyd’s Rumba choreography. The same week, Len was the only judge to give James Maslow less than a 9 for his Tango. On Week 5, all four judges gave James and Peta perfect 10s for Disney Night. But this week, Len flashed another 8 paddle for Jeta, and James doesn’t agree with why.
The other judges gave James and Peta’s Grease-inspired Quickstep 9s. Carrie Ann said James is such a leading man. His athleticism mixed with his charm is amazing, but he could’ve been a hair sharper on his footwork. Week 6 guest judge Redfoo said the dance was quick (well spotted!), and it reminded him of two crabs in the sand. Bruno Tonioli said James could’ve been a bit lighter on his feet, but he made a comparison to John Travolta and Fred Astaire.
Len told James, performance-wise, he’s the one that he wants, but for technique there were tears on his pillow. He said James’ footwork was heavy, he flexed his knees too much, and there was a rule infringement in shadow position. As Len put it, “speed came in and the style went out.”
Well, James respectfully disagrees, and said so in his Parade blog.
“I think the judges were a little harsh this week,” he wrote. “I would never want to say I deserved something more than I got because they’re the professionals, but the one thing that even I noticed was they commented about having bent knees. I talked to Peta about this and she specifically told me to have bent knees and it’s not her fault — the Quickstep has bent knees. So we were focused on body contact and they didn’t say anything about that, so it’s a win in my book.”
James acknowledged there was more pressure on them this week after getting a perfect score last week, “and frankly, I worked my butt off on our Quickstep last night. It’s a great dance, and it’s got to have drama and a certain effect, but it’s OK because it gives me more room to grow for the rest of the competition.”
He sounds a little frustrated, but this is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s not like he’s at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard. James has two other celebs under him, and hopefully the less-than-ideal scores won’t end up sending him home next week. If he and Peta do leave on Latin Night, well, they know who to blame!
Do you think James and Peta were unfairly criticized for their Quickstep, or should James let it gooooo?
DWTS Season 18 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.