Judges, hosts, contestants go crazy on Dancing with the Stars 4

The judges on Dancing with the Stars usually make American Idol‘s judges look like they’re in comas by comparison, but last night, they were particularly out of control–and the show’s hosts and contestants joined the fray.

Most significantly, Bruno said that Billy Ray Cyrus’ first performance was “crap,” which Tom Bergeron said would require them to wash his mouth out with soap later. What was Bruno thinking? This is a fucking family show. Seriously, he apparently just said “crap,” not “shit,” because a few seconds later, Billy Ray said, “You know, I’ve held my tongue the whole time, but I’m gonna go ahead and say it: Bruno calling me ‘crap’ is the pot calling the kettle black.”

Billy Ray was really bothered by that word, saying later, “It’s just hard to come back after that type of rudeness. It’s so rude, it’s so rude. … You would think that somebody would have the courtesy to have a little bit of manners.” With that, and his shitty dancing, Billy Ray pretty much wrote himself a ticket home.

Later, Len criticized Apolo and Julianne’s creative take on the tango, and while the audience booed so loudly we couldn’t hear what anyone was saying, Tom Bergeron jumped up on the judge’s pedestal and hit Len on the head with his cards, and then Len and Bruno started screaming at one another.

Backstage, the couple learned their scores: a 10 from Carrie Ann, an 8 from Len, and a 10 from Bruno. But then that co-host twit Samantha Harris told them, “I know they’re really excited about the two 10s; however, Carrie Ann actually keyed in, right after your dance, a nine, and she held up the wrong paddle and said ’10.’ So she actually meant to give you a nine initially.”

Clearly, the voices in Samantha’s head told her there was a problem, but her explanation, as usual, made no sense. Carrie Ann could not have both held up the wrong paddle and “meant to give you a nine,” because she actually said “10”; her oral vote and the paddle agreed. Moments later, Tom Bergeron said, “I love live television,” and Carrie Ann insisted that she punched in a 10. After the commercial, Tom said, “Here’s the ruling. The problem was in Carrie Ann’s computer, not in Carrie Ann; she intended a 10, so that’s what it will be scored, as a 10.”

Later, Tom said that the “computer malfunction has been fixed.” By “computer,” I think he meant, “Post-It note the judges pass to an intern who runs them to the control booth.” This is, after all, ABC, the network that hands out trophies that crumble.

Speaking of numbers, Samantha tried to pick a fight with Ian backstage. After the scores were revealed, Samantha said, “First out out of the gate, and a 22.” Ian, clearly upset at the scores, said, “Yeah, 22, that adds up to 22.” But Samantha reacted as though he was making fun of her. “Quick at math, aren’t you?” she said, and then turned to home viewers. “All right, good, we’re doing the adding for you, but again, a reminder for you at home, a 22 out of a possible of 30.” Thanks for both doing simple, simple math for us–and for the reminder for something we heard four times in 20 seconds, Samantha.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.