Jason Tartick is defending girlfriend Kaitlyn Bristowe after Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba said she felt the former Bachelorette "gave up" during her performance on Monday's show. After Bristowe and pro partner Artem Chigvintsev's Cruella de Vil-inspired Paso Doble earned the pair a 24/30 — their lowest score since week three — the Bachelor Nation beau took to his Instagram Story to accuse the judges of giving unfair scores.
"The Carrie Ann questions are coming in hot. So here’s what I’m going to say. Is she tough on Kaitlyn? She is," Tartick said Monday. "Is the feedback she gives Kaitlyn unbelievable, that like Kaitlyn can take that feedback and go to the studio and become a better dancer? Yes. Was tonight a 7? I don’t think so."
"Of course, she’s bummed out," he continued of Bristowe's response to the critique, explaining he isn't quite sure how to handle the show on his end. "Part of me is like, ‘You know, what it’s a show. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, so just enjoy the ride.’ But then another part of me sees that she puts everything into this, everything. So I’m, like, so torn. But she’ll battle back, I’m confident. Next week, she’s got this."
Looking at her very successful season so far, Tartick admitted this performance is probably a "rock bottom" for Bristowe. "And when you’re at rock bottom, that’s when people hit their next stride," he added. "You have to relish it, you have to remember that feeling of being on stage and hearing that feedback and take that every day to your practice and become better and next Monday just crush it. And that’s why rock bottom can be a launchpad."
On Bristowe's end, she said she was "finished with [her] little pity party" on her own Instagram Story, admitting she cried after the judging. "I felt very bummed out after tonight because of the amount of work we all put into every dance, not just me, every dancer in the competition. … It’s not in me to give up, so it was really hard to hear the feedback, some good, some bad."
She added to Entertainment Tonight, "A few things hurt my feelings, but I have to remember, 'OK, I'm on a show where there's judges, and I have to take everything they say and I can't change it.'" Asked what she would tell Inaba after this week's scores, Bristowe joked, "I would like to say, 'Carrie Ann, LensCrafters called and your prescription is in.'"