It was Michael Bolton’s swan song on Dancing With the Stars on Tuesday night after he had been slammed for a jive performance that judge Bruno Tonioli had called the worst ever on the ABC reality show. “I hated it,” Bruno bluntly declared on Monday night’s performance show.
Bruno’s comments were controversial, as the other celebrities and professional dancers felt the veteran judge went too far in criticizing Bolton. But apparently viewers agreed that the singer hadn’t mastered dancing — and he and partner Chelsie Hightower were voted off after Michael only got a score of 12 for his jive in which he played a dog leaving his dog house.
After the show, the busy performer had to bolt the ballroom to make a concert gig in Napa, Calif. But on Monday night, he had told OK! how he felt about the judging, saying, “They were unusually harsh. I couldn’t wait to get out there and smile and relax but I didn’t get any love for it. No violin here — it is what it is. I have no regrets.” He also has plenty of work —57 concerts lined up through the end of the year.
Before even starting the show, Michael had told OK! he had hesitated to do DWTS: “I was absolutely terrified about the amount of steps. It just seemed far too daunting to take on. But then the more it started to bug me that I was backing away from it because of the fear of dance. Challenge has always been great for me.” So Michael signed on and the determined would-be dancer worked out four days a week to get his stamina up for the show. “I think I can probably lose about five more pounds before people will start walking up to me and pushing bird seed into my mouth,” he joked to OK! three weeks ago.
As the rail thin Michael said his goodbyes on Tuesday night, the ballroom was still buzzing about how Bruno ripped his performance and gave him a score of 3. Brandy’s pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy sighed, “I think there’s a way of saying stuff without putting people down. I feel this whole panel of judges is about one-liners. [It] hurts people’s hearts.” Cheryl Burke, who dances with Rick Fox, said, “I’d like to see Bruno come out here and do a jive himself.”
Meanwhile, Michael’s devoted pro Chelsie told OK! “I’m bummed about the fact it had to end the way it did. It would have been one thing if we had ended on a positive note. But I think there were a few things said that were definitely harsh. It would have been one thing if Michael hadn’t been trying or had a bad attitude or didn’t want to be here but none of those were true. He did try. He did want to be here. He did want to succeed. It was a little uncalled for to go as far as some of the comments that were said.”
Chelsie hopes to watch Michael in concert soon. “Michael and I had such a great time together, built such a tight bond,” she told OK! “I hope to see more of him and watch him sing — and dance — onstage.”
The pretty dance pro, who is close with fellow DWTS regular Mark Ballas, said Mark gave her some words of encouragement after the elimination show: “He said, ‘Keep your head up.’ “
While Chelsie did her exit interviews, the other dancers got ready for week 3, in which each couple needs to tell a story through their dance. Tony Dovolani told reporters, as promised, he was going to get his legs waxed this week as punishment for not coaching partner Audrina Patridge to three scores of 8. “Audrina has not stopped laughing. She is loving this,” he said. Next week, they’ll be performing the waltz with Tony’s silky smooth legs.
Audrina and Tony wouldn’t reveal their storyline, but Margaret Cho said next week’s samba with her partner Louis Van Amstel, set to the song Copacabana, will be “my story—about a girl who’s felt overweight and ugly and for the first time, she feels beautiful.”
DWTS performers also told the reality about TV packages. In footage aired on Tuesday night’s show, the pro dancers revealed their pre-show rituals. But backstage, two of them admitted they’d made up the stories. Cheryl Burke said her supposed ritual of putting deodorant under her arms “wasn’t true. I made that up.”
And Louis Van Amstel confided that he doesn’t eat chocolate cake before performances, as shown in his TV package. “I actually was about to throw up,” he laughed of the two pieces of cake producers forced him to eat for the cameras. However, Louis revealed backstage there IS a more prosaic pre-show ritual he and Margaret swear by: “We take power naps!”
Tune in to next week’s DWTS to see who’s rested and ready — and who will follow Michael Bolton out the ballroom door.