Week nine of Dancing With the Stars saw Backstreet Boy AJ McLean dethroned after a stumble during his Viennese Waltz tribute to Queen legend Freddie Mercury landed him and Cheryl Burke in the bottom two. Dubbed a "tough one" by judge Carrie Ann Inaba, with Bruno Tonioli stating that McLean got himself "into a jumble," their final score of 23 out of 30 points wasn't enough to send them through to the semi-finals, something that Burke is taking some issue with.
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight just after they were forced to hang up their dancing shoes before nabbing the coveted Mirrorball Trophy, the 36-year-old professional dancer admitted that she was frustrated by the low score. In fact, Burke seemed to take issue with the scoring throughout the entire season, scoring that she feels has been inconsistent. She told the outlet, "There's rules in ballroom, and as far a I'm concerned this is a ballroom show, I thought," adding that she feels the way in which the couples are scored is "just not consistent."
Burke is not the only dancer this season to voice concern over the scoring by the judges, which along with Inaba and Brunioli also includes Derek Hough. Throughout the season, Kaitlyn Bristowe and her partner Artem Chigvintsev have voiced their concern after Inaba, across several weeks, seemed to be more critical of Bristowe than others. Addressing the scoring after the eighth week of the competition, Chigvintsev said that he feels "it's definitely, maybe not a different standard, but I feel like it's different expectations" and that the scoring was beginning to feel "a little personal." During Icons Night, their luck seemed to change, as they scored their first perfect score of the season, with Inaba even praising their routine.
As for McLean and Burke, the end of their journey on the ABC dancing competition is "a major bummer," the musician said. McLean admitted that he didn't "think it's really hit me yet, to be honest, but tomorrow it'll be an emotional hangover for sure." After spending nine weeks busting out new moves on the dance floor, McLean said that he is "grateful for the experience, stating, "it's been an absolutely gracious journey, and I'm grateful for every experience that I've endured with this amazing woman." Although sad over the early tap out, he added that "there's also kind of a sense of relief and calmness as well, because life goes on."
Dancing With the Stars' Semi-Finals kicks off Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for the latest updates.