Madix and Pashkov received a lot of praise for the performance, which was set to Houston’s “Queen of the Night.” DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba was somewhat less impressed than her fellow co-judges, though. She has since taken to social media to defend her take on the dance.
Here’s what you need to know:
Carrie Ann Inaba Didn’t Give Ariana Madix a ’10’
Madix and Pashkov were the last pair to perform on Whitney Houston Night prior to the “Dance-Off” competition. After getting feedback from the judges, they received a score of 39 points out of 40. Inaba went first, and she gave them a 9. Derek Hough, guest judge Billy Porter, and Bruno Tonioli all gave the pair 10s.
Their scores came a few performances after fellow competitors Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy earned a perfect 40 out of 40. Chmerkovskiy and Gomez’s 40 was the first perfect score for an individual pair’s dance this season.
Judge Bruno Tonioli gushed that Madix “Dominated that performance,” and Derek Hough told Her he thought it was a “Fantastic paso.” In addition, guest judge Billy Porter said it was one of his favorite performances. “I feel like I need to stand. It was so clean, it was so sharp,” he praised.
Inaba told Madix, “What I love most about you is you do not miss a moment.” However, Inaba added that she felt there were some awkward moments from Madix during her paso doble.
The long-time “Dancing with the Stars” judge admitted that the awkward moments meant Madix’s performance was “lacking” in her opinion. The audience booed, and Inaba lobbed back, “Oh my goodness. Well, then, you guys vote!”
Receiving boos from the audience was not the end of the backlash Inaba received over how she rated Madix’s performance. The “Dancing with the Stars” judge took to her Instagram Stories to address the additional criticism she received.
On November 16, Inaba shared a screenshot of an article from a media outlet that noted fans were “Outraged” by the score Inaba gave the pair. The “Dancing with the Stars” judge added her own commentary over the screenshot.
“So… I judge from what I see from my perspective. If I just did what other people do, I would have zero value as a judge,” Inaba’s response began. She continued, “But as the woman on the panel, I’m constantly made a target for blame and vitriol.”
Inaba also wrote, “I own my space on that panel AND I also appreciate the passion of our audience!” The “Dancing with the Stars” judge continued, “If I thought it was perfect. I would give it a ten. Like I did for @_xochitl.gomez and @valentinvalentine’s tango.”
She was not done quite yet, though. Inaba wrote, “I did not think those dances were ‘perfection.’ Be mad at me. I can handle it. I’ve been judging for 32 seasons…. But then you better be voting.”
DWTS Fans Had Mixed Reactions to Inaba’s Post
The Instagram Story of Inaba’s sparked a fair amount of commentary in the “Dancing with the Stars” subreddit.
One show fan wrote, “I think 39 was a generous score for Ariana. I agreed with everything [Inaba] said (which is rare).”
“I just saw Ariana’s dance last night and it was not worth an overall score of 40, I think the 3 10’s were generous,” someone else commented. That person also felt that Madix was “too stiff” and “her facial expressions were lacking” in this dance.
“I don’t get what her being a woman has anything to do with her statement,” added a separate Redditor, who pointed out that the author of the article Inaba used in her screenshot was a woman too.
“I hate when she pulls the woman card and then SPECIFICALLY targets women on the show,” noted a different “Dancing with the Stars” fan.
“NOOOOOOOOO MAAM! We are NOT going to pull the woman card here! I would consider myself to be extremely feminist and can usually see when that actually is the case, but it is absolutely not the case here,” retorted a critic of Inaba’s.
That poster continued, “The criticisms about her judging are fair. If anything, she herself goes harder at the women contestants, which is one of the biggest issues people have with her!!”