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All of DWTS’ backhanded compliments for Shark Tank’s Robert

All of DWTS’ backhanded compliments for Shark Tank’s Robert
Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron, Kym Johnson, and her partner, Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC)

Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den star Robert Herjavec received the fourth-highest score, a 28, on the premiere of Dancing with the Stars‘ 20th season. In other words, he did quite well! He also got a lot of backhanded compliments for his performance.

Yes, the story of Robert’s dance routine–a faux Shark Tank set with other dancers sitting in as the sharks, ending with a shower of fake money set to “Bills” by LunchMoney Lewis–was that everyone was surprised by how well he did, so they gave him compliments couched in criticism. Here’s what he was told:

  • Julianne Hough: “I am completely blown away. I was not expecting that. You are so infectious, your energy is so…”
  • Bruno Tonioli: “What a pleasant surprise, Robert. … I was expecting a fearsome predator. What I got was like Flipper, the crazy dolphin.”
  • Carrie Ann Inaba: “You’re effervescent, like, you’re like a 14-year-old kid dancing, and you have great technique in a weird way. Like, you’re a little off music the whole time, but your technique, your hips were pointed in the right direction.”
  • Tom Bergeron : “So what we’re hearing is you’re a precise dancing dolphin.”
  • Len Goodman: “You shocked me as well, Robert. I expected the shark to be a fish out of water. But you came on, you embraced the show, you gave it everything you’ve got, your smile lit up the place. You’re too light on your feet; it was all a little bit light in place, your hips could have worked a little bit more. Thank you for the money, by the way.”
  • Erin Andrews: “I think everybody’s excited for you to be humbled because you’re normally the guy that’s judging and has all the power on your show.”

Before the scores were revealed, Robert said, “Yeah, that’s what every 50-year-old man wants to hear, that he’s like a 14-year-old.” Erin Andrews corrected him: “I think it was a compliment.”

Then again, compared to what The Bachelor‘s Chris Soules was told, maybe it was tame:

  • Bruno Tonioli: “then you look like you’re chasing a hog instead of chasing a beautiful girl”
  • Carrie Ann Inaba: “you’ve got a little bit of T-Rex arms going on”
  • Len Goodman: “Chris, you’re a bit like this truck, you need some polish.”

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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