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Michael Bolton‘s pro dancing partner, Chelsie Hightower has turned the tables on Bruno Tonioli, judging him for declaring their jive “the worst” in the show’s history.

Chelsie, who admits she slept all day out of sheer exhaustion after their Tuesday night humiliation, tells PopEater: “In a way, it is what the show is about. He is doing his job.

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“But at the same time, I think he should have a little more class with it. It would be one thing if Michael wasn’t trying, but he did put the time in, he did try, he did want to do well. This past week, he put in more hours than any time before.

“He wasn’t feeling well — he canceled shows on his tour and he didn’t feel good about doing that — but he really wanted to succeed. There’s a tact level you should have when you’re saying that dancing may not be for someone.”

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Chelsie says she heard from fellow pros as well as contestants after the pair were voted off the show. “Everybody is so supportive, hoping I’m okay, that Michael is okay.

“Everyone is there for each other, taking care of each other. There really is a great camaraderie backstage.” Did she hear from Bruno or his fellow judges? “No, but we don’t really have a lot of contact with them,” she says.

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How’s Michael doing? “He’s fine. Everything is fine.” She says. “I definitely think he had some things he wanted to get out and I’m glad he had the chance to get them out. He would have been mad at himself if he hadn’t gotten it out. I learned a lot from Michael.

“He was a great guy to work with, very down to earth, very caring and genuine, a great student who wanted to do well. He had a lot of great life advice and career advice I was able to take away from this.”

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So would she do anything differently with the dance, perhaps not having the singer emerging from a kennel during the “Hound Dog” dance?

“You know, that’s what happens, you do things and you take risks,” she says. “If it would have been performed great, everyone would have been like ‘Oh, wow!’ You do things to attempt to be entertaining, to loosen your partner up. Sometimes they’re sold fantastically. Sometimes they don’t come across.”

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