DWTS Alum Believes Judges ‘Hated’ Her, Calls Out Carrie Ann Inaba

Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli.

Getty Images Sara Evans felt the judges "hated" her on "Dancing With the Stars."

Season 3 “Dancing With the Stars” alum Sara Evans opened up about her experience on the show. Evans danced with ballroom pro Tony Dovolani and self-eliminated, finishing the competition in 6th place.

While chatting about her season on the show, Evans admitted that she had a tough time with the judges.

“The judges embarrassed me,” Evans told Cheryl Burke on the April 29 episode of the “Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans” podcast. “That lady judge,” she continued, undoubtedly referring to Carrie Ann Inaba. “She was never nice to me until the very end. Until I did the ‘Boots are Made for Walking’ thing. And then she was like, yes, that’s what I wanted to see,” Evans explained.

Later on in the podcast episode, Evans admitted that she thought that the judges “hated” her.

“I was never my authentic self on camera on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ because I thought the judges hated me,” she said.

Here’s what you need to know:

Sara Evans Said She Used to Cry Through Rehearsals

In addition to feeling as though the judges were particularly hard on her, Evans also struggled with trying to be perfect for Dovolani.

“I would go to the bathroom about every 30 minutes and cry for a second because I’m such a people pleaser and I wanted and I’m also a perfectionist,” Evans told Burke.

“So I would get, you know how when you’re like in math class or something, there’s just something you don’t understand or you can’t do and you cry, you just want to cry. That’s how I was all the time. I wanted to cry all the time,” she added.

Evans had a lot going on in her personal life that made things even more challenging. While she was competing on the show, her personal life was in shambles. In fact, she quit the show because she had filed for divorce from her then-husband, Craig Schelske.

Sara Evans Believes She Would Have Won ‘Dancing With the Stars’

On an April 2024 episode of her “Diving in the Deep” podcast, Evans said she would have won season 3. That is, if she didn’t leave early.

“I was contractually bound to do that show. And so they agreed to let me out of the contract if I would give an interview and explain what was going on. So I remember having to go in hair and makeup and sit in some hotel room and do this interview with Tony Dovolani. And without telling the detail, kind of like what we’re trying to do now, explain that my kids were traumatized and I’m not leaving them for five seconds,” she explained.

“You know, and so I have to quit the show. I’m the only person that’s ever had to do that on ‘Dancing With the Stars,'” she said, adding that no one had left for personal reasons at that point in the show’s history.

“But, I probably would have won,” she stated.

Burke ended up winning the Mirrorball Trophy that season alongside Emmitt Smith.

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