Carrie Ann Inaba managed to mostly stay out of both judging controversies on this week’s “Dancing With the Stars.” But she jumped into the mix on Twitter and in an interview with “Access Hollywood” to defend her fellow judges, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.
One of said controversies involved now-eliminated contestant Chaz Bono, who was called a penguin and an Ewok by Tonioli. This led his mother, Cher, to share her extreme displeasure on Twitter: “Critique Chaz’s dance style, movements, etc. But don’t make fun of my child on national TV.”
Inaba told Billy Bush on Wednesday that she respected what Chaz Bono was doing for the transgender community. “But the scoring has to do with what they’re doing dance wise. We are able to separate the two. We can do that,” she explained.
Tonioli didn’t mean for the comment to be “negative or derogatory statement,” Inaba said.
She also addressed the heated exchange between pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Goodman. Maks told Goodman he should retire after the judge said his partner Hope Solo’s performance was her “worst dance of the season.” Inaba took to Twitter after the show Monday to go to bat for Goodman.
“FYI: Everyone has different abilities on DWTS,” she tweeted. “Every journey is unique to each contestant and everyone’s ten looks slightly different.” On “Access Hollywood,” Inaba said she believes Maks took the comment “the wrong way.” Indeed, the dancer later apologized.