Week Eight of Dancing With the Stars proved to be a rollercoaster of emotions for more reasons than just the sudden and forced exit of Jeannie Mai and her partner Brandon Armstrong. With Nelly dedicating his performance to his late sister and AJ McLean opening up about his battle with drugs and alcohol, Bachelorette alum Kaitlyn Bristowe had her own emotional moment amid the continued drama surrounding judge Carrie Ann Inaba's scoring of her routines with partner Artem Chigvintsev.
In a pre-packaged clip that aired Monday night, Bristowe was seen breaking down into tears as she admitted that she was struggling with Inaba's, and some of the other judges', criticism. Just the week prior, Inaba had told her that she felt as though Bristowe "gave up" and lost her "spirit" on the dance floor. Those critiques, Bristowe said through tears, made her "feel like I'm never going to be good enough for what they hold me to."
During their Monday night routine, Bristowe and Chigvintsev performed a jive to "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen. The performance earned them positive feedback from Derek Hough, who handed them nine points and said that Bristowe was "amazing" and "someone who could go all the way." Bristowe, however, again faced an uphill battle in winning over Inaba, who offered a critique on one move in particular. Praising Bristowe for coming back this week with "grace," Inaba ultimately said she had to deduct a point from their score after she determined Bristowe's back-tuck to be "a lift." That scoring led to an on-air squabble between Inaba and Chigvintsev, who came to Bristowe's defense and said the move was not a lift. Inaba, however, said that she was going to "fight for" the argument that it was a lift.
Opening up about the moment with Entertainment Tonight, Bristowe admitted that she was again left confused by Inaba's remarks. While Bristowe said that she and her partner are "good at accepting constructive criticism. We're like, 'OK, great, now let's apply it. Thank you for the wonderful feedback,'" she said that "With this one it's like, 'Huh? OK?'" She added that the scoring from the judges has been especially confounding because "Derek [Hough] says things and I'm like, 'Great! Oh my gosh, I could work on that. Let's use that next time.' Same with Bruno [Tonioli]. And when Carrie says things, I'm like, 'What do you want us to do with that?'"
While fans seem to be just as confused by Inaba's Monday night critique, many sounding off on social media, Inaba herself has refrained from addressing the criticism publicly. Regardless of her lower score, Bristowe and Chigvintsev managed to survive another week and will be hitting the dance floor again when a new episode of Dancing With the Stars airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.