‘DWTS’ Judge Len Goodman Loses His Cool After Kellie Pickler’s Paso Doble
Len Goodman erupted like Mt. St. Helens Monday night (May 6) as he and fellow ‘Dancing With the Stars’ judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli disagreed strongly about Kellie Pickler‘s paso doble with Derek Hough and Tristan MacManus. The singer’s second dance of the night was a trio dance, and the three acted out what Tonioli gushingly described as “masterpiece theater.”
Pickler spoke about how much difficulty she had getting into character for the paso doble. She had to channel an inner-demon — something the sweet singer from Albemarle, N.C. was not used to.
“Trying to get Kellie to channel the intensity of the paso doble is kinda like dragging a lion out of a kitten,” MacManus said during the pre-recorded rehearsals. Inaba and Tonioli thought she unleashed that lion, with each judge coming out from behind the table to hug and congratulate the amateur and the professionals. Chaos was already raining before Goodman began to speak.
The lead judge was furious. “It was a hodgepodge of moves just out there to titillate the tastebuds,” he began, much to the shock of everyone at home and on the dance floor. Mouths fell open as he wound up into his own standing tirade, which included accusations toward Hough and MacManus. He said their choreography didn’t include certain moves necessary to qualify it as a paso doble.
“You know I’m right,” he shouted as the audience jeered.
At one point, cameras were swirling around, adding to the confusion. Then Goodman took a personal shot at Tonioli. “You can’t talk unless you stand up, your (inaudible) are stuck up your a–,” he said before someone cut their microphones to spare the at-home audience.
Inaba and Tonioli gave Pickler 10s, while Goodman gave her a seven. The 27 was added to her first dance of the night (the Viennese waltz) for a total of 55. Overall, her score was third, behind Aly Raisman and Zendaya, who landed the season’s first perfect score.
After the show, Pickler and Hough spoke with Access Hollywood about the uproar. They mostly took it in stride, although Hough revealed that Goodman had requested certain moves be added during rehearsals, so he expected him to shower the couple in praise.
As for the fighting: “There is an element of theatrics on their part as well,” Hough said. Inaba would later take to Twitter to argue her point.
“Good night in the ballroom,” she tweeted. “Should have been 2 30’s in the room tonight. Love my judges but boy do we have different opinions sometimes.”