Carrie Ann Inaba is speaking out after facing backlash from Dancing With the Stars fans over her criticisms of Kaitlyn Bristowe throughout Season 29. After deducting a point from Bristowe and her partner Artem Chigvintsev's Week 8 routine for what she argued was a lift instead of a flip, Inaba revealed that she is now being bullied by viewers who are taking issue with her scoring.
Speaking with her fellow co-hosts of The Talk on Tuesday just hours after the controversy was refueled, Inaba revealed, "I still get bullied." According to Page Six, the DWTS judge went on to state that the bullying typically starts "right about this time… because of the way I judge people. I can't believe it still happens as adults."
The renewed controversy was sparked during Monday evening's episode of the ABC dancing competition after Bristowe and Chigvintsev scored a 25 out of a possible 30 points for their jive routine to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now." The performance had mostly been praised by judges Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough, who said that Bristowe was "amazing" and "someone who could go all the way." Inaba, however, didn’t feel quite the same way. Although she acknowledged that Bristowe had returned this week with "grace" following her Week 7 performance, adding that this could very well be among Bristowe's "best performances," Inaba took issue with the specifics of the dance and deducted a point as she vowed that she would "fight" to maintain the argument that one of Bristowe's flips was actually a lift.
Those critiques had immediately raised some viewers' eyebrows, with some slamming Inaba for being "too hard" on Bristowe. Some thought it seemed as though the judge "is literally incapable of saying anything nice to" the Bachelorette alum. Some also wondered if Inaba was particularly hard on Bristowe due to her tenure on the reality dating show, as she had also been hard on Hannah Brown.
However, those criticisms are not going to sway Inaba from dishing out the truth as she sees it. She told her co-hosts that the bullying "doesn't make me change the way I judge. I'm not about to change because you try to bully me. It only makes me stand stronger in my convictions and what I believe in." She also attempted to explain her judging, explaining that she judges "the way I judge from my background. That is my job to do it and I will always do it based on my own conscience, not because you're trying to tell me what to do."
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