'Dancing With the Stars'' Carson Kressley Calls Out Judges for Ignoring Their Own Criteria

"We can dance and have fun at the same time," says Kressley. "That's called entertaining… I think sometimes our showmanship is overlooked."
Adam Taylor/Warner Bros.

Were Dancing With the Stars results based on scores alone, Carson Kressley would be on his way out the door.

Despite delivering an audience-rousing Jive set to Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" with partner Anna Trebunskaya, the '80s week offering landed them in last place with a score of only 19. The judges weren't too kind in their critique either, slamming the TV host for his lack of technique.

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"We're used to them being harsh," Kressley said backstage after the show, "but I thought they were extra harsh. And they really weren't accurate or fair. I'm not going to complain, because it's over. The scores are what they are. We can't do anything but dance really hard."

"We have a saying in Russia," Trebunskaya adds. "You don't punch after the fight is over."

But the fight has gone on for much of the season, with the judges dwelling on the same things week after week. This prompted Kressley to consult the DWTS rulebook.

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"Judging criteria, let's take a look," he says. "Of course it says technical merit, but it also says 'ambition of the routine.' We do ambitious routines. And sometimes we mess them up, but I'd rather do an ambitious routine and not be perfect than be boring any day."

Kressley adds there's another piece of judging criteria he thinks they need to pay more attention to. "The other thing is showmanship," he says. "We can dance and have fun at the same time. That's called entertaining… I think sometimes our showmanship is overlooked."

The one judge who seems to not overlook their showmanship is Bruno Tonioli, though in his assessment tonight he did deliver a slightly backhanded compliment, calling the routine "a crowning achievement in madness."

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"We're cheerleaders from the '80s wearing tube socks," Kressley says of the routine. "We're not doing the Viennese wallets right bow. People are dancing to Spandau Ballet. It's a mad, mad world. It's a manic monday. Context!"

Still, he remains pleased with his obvious effect on the audience. "I had Florence Henderson on the balls of her feet," he says.

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