Tell the Dancing With the Stars judges to hide!
While Christina Milian and Mark Ballas are still reeling from the shock of going home on the same night they got the first 10 of Season 17, their fellow dancers under the “in jeopardy” lights, Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani, are seething from what they feel were “extremely hostile” judges’ comments.
Last night, nine couples danced to the Most Memorable Year theme. Leah and Tony danced a Contemporary routine that never specifically mentioned Scientology, but it was pretty obvious that it was about her break from the church. The judges all appreciated the concept but weren't sold on the lifts.
Carrie Ann Inaba said the dance started beautifully, then it felt like lift to movement to lift and it wasn’t one seamless storytelling moment. She noted that Leah couldn't see it from her perspective, but there were some rough movements during her overhead lift. Leah piped in to say, "Well, I can't do it 'cause I'm not a dancer." Len Goodman said he loved all the action between the two of them, but the lifts were a little bit "labored,” and Bruno Tonioli agreed. "It was good but not great,” he said, but noted that at least she got out there: "Leah fights back!" It’s very hard, he said, since Contemporary has a particular technique and has a strong dynamic flow. It's a lot to take on for the first time and she did well.
Len and Carrie Ann gave the dance 7s and Bruno gave it an 8. It was the lowest score of the night, and after the scores were revealed, clearly-upset Leah told Tom Bergeron he didn't want to know what she was thinking, but she did share her thoughts with Slacker radio later, explaining it "sucks" to be in jeopardy. She didn't think she'd care this much, but because of all the hard work she and Tony put in, she wants to do a good job.
She seemed a little angry at the judges after their comments, the interviewer noted. Leah responded, "Is it anger when you appropriately respond to something that is maybe equally as hostile coming at you?" Leah said she’s not taking the show seriously, she’s taking it in the fun and learning and experience it’s meant to be. “Tonight was a different story. Tonight was about our moments of change in our lives, it was very personal. So to respond in that way to me was extremely hostile. So I reacted very kindly, if you ask me."
Did Tony see it as hostile too? "Yeah. Well, how could I not?" They see how high the bar is this season since so many contestants have previous dance experience, which makes things so much tougher on a celeb like Leah, who is not trained. Tony said it was "heartbreaking" to hear the judges' comments and see their reactions after everything they put out there.
Do you think the judges were hostile to Leah and Tony? Should they have been more supportive given her lack of dance experience (when compared to, say, Elizabeth and Corbin) and sensitive, personal nature of this week’s routines? Sound off below!