Monday night's Dancing With the Stars episode started with Bachelorette alum Kaitlyn Bristowe and her partner, Artem Chigvintsev, performing a jive. While the duo seemingly nailed all of the steps during their performance, Carrie Ann Inaba had some serious criticism for their dance, as she said that the pair included an unauthorized lift in their routine. However, Chigvintsev denied performing a lift, leading to a bit of a dispute between himself and Inaba.
Following their jive, host Tyra Banks turned to the judges — Inaba, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli — for their commentary. When it came time for Inaba to share her thoughts, she said that the contestant came back this week with "grace" but asked Bristowe whether she could do a back tuck on her own. Bristowe replied that she was unable to do so, prompting the judge to say that she would be forced to deduct a point from their overall score because the reality star needed the help of Chigvintsev for the move. Shortly after she answered, Bristowe, who does have a dance background, clarified that she can do a back tuck on her own. Chigvintsev backed her up on this, telling the judge that the move was not a lift leading to a bit of a back-and-forth between them. In the end, Inaba said that they would not be able to change her mind about the situation, choosing to deduct a point from their overall score because the lift was not allowed. As a result, she gave the competitors an 8 (Hough gave them a 9, and Tonioli dished out another 8, making their overall score 25 out of 30).
Inaba's latest critique comes a week after she gave Bristowe another round of hard-hitting criticism for her Paso Doble routine. On the Oct. 26 episode, the Talk co-host said that the reality alum seemed to give up during the dance and that she didn't give it her all. Following that dose of criticism, Chigvintsev spoke to Entertainment Tonight to share his own thoughts about the judging this season. He told the publication that Inaba's explanation "wasn't enough" of a reason to give them a lower score. The professional dancer also said that he wants all of the judges to get on the same page when critiquing the routines' content.
"My thought, No. 1 is, does content of the dance not count anymore? Because it's weird to me when we supposedly have to pursue a certain type of dance. I'm not going to speak of any specific couples, but I feel like, is there some kind of a standard now what dance should look like, or what it shouldn't?" Chigvintsev said. "I feel like it just kinda goes left and right. There's definitely inconsistency." The dancer added, "It's hard because if you compare the content level of what Kaitlyn has been doing, which Derek actually appreciated and said, like, 'That was actually amazing to see a real Paso Doble.' Not just walking around the room and pretending to be a certain character," he added. "I understand that this was Villains Night and we had to be certain characters ... but is that not supposed to look like [real] Paso Doble anymore? Like, where does the barrier end?"