‘Dancing With the Stars’: Carrie Ann Inaba Says She’s Getting Bullied for How She Judges

Dancing with the Stars is officially eight episodes in for season 29, and things are heating up in the elimination rounds.

Heading into week 8, Jeannie Mai had to drop out of the competition due to illness, leaving the remaining teams still in the game for relays and solos. Though former Bachelor contestant Kaitlyn Bristowe and her partner Artem Chigvintsev had middle of the lane scores in the Nov. 2 episode, they (and some fans) disagree with how they’ve been judged.

Particularly, Carrie Ann Inaba’s critiques have been called in to question, and the judge has received some backlash.

Carrie Ann Inaba
Carrie Ann Inaba at Universal Studios Hollywood | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Artem Chigvintsev and Kaitlyn Bristowe feel singled out

After their performance in the latest episode, Bristowe and Chigvintsev spoke out about some of Inaba’s commentary. This week, the judge homed in on whether Bristowe did a jump versus a lift during their choreography, something that came off as nitpicky. This follows the previous week’s comments where she said it felt like Bristowe “gave up.”

During an interview with Entertainment Tonight’s Lauren Zima, the duo said Inaba’s criticism feels personal. “I feel it’s definitely, maybe not a different standard, but I feel like it’s different expectations,” said Chigvintsev.

“I’m watching back the dance itself. It’s like ‘Oh, you can kick sharper!’ Well I can say that about everybody who dances on the show today. I don’t know. It’s really odd.”

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Bristowe echoed that sentiment and said they appreciate constructive feedback, but Inaba leaves her stumped. “I just want to know where it comes from.”

‘DWTS’ judge Carrie Ann Inaba talks being bullied

When discussing the show on The Talk, Inaba weighed on some of the fan reactions to her critiques. She said she gets bullied online for how she judges people this season. Inaba used the opportunity to say that she won’t change how she does her job.

“It doesn’t make me change the way I judge. I’m not about to change because you’re trying to bully me. It only makes me stand stronger in my convictions in what I believe in,” she said.

She added that she taps into her dance background when giving feedback and will always do it that way. “Not because you’re trying to tell me what to do.”

Some fans are on Inaba’s case

Viewers have their favorite DWTS contestants this season, and some are expressing their dissatisfaction with Inaba’s remarks about Bristowe and Chigvintsev. While a few people hit her Twitter account with their opinions, numerous others are sharing their feelings on her Instagram page.

One fan wrote, “Starting to be very uncomfortable watching you judge certain people (what is your issue with Kaitlyn??!!). Judging is one thing, but seems like more of a personal attack.”

Another added, “Stop hating on Kaitlyn and Artem. You pick on them for the dumbest and smallest things and have a double standard that you seem to always show to bachelor contestants from what I’ve observed over the years.”

Someone else referenced Inaba’s past dating history with Chigvintsev: “Judges that have dated the dancers ( You + Artem) shouldn’t be able to judge .. Cause seems like it’s always negative towards Kaitlyn.. IMO”

Only a few couples remain. Watch the next episode on Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. EST.