Karina Smirnoff may have taken an embarrassing spill during Monday’s Dancing with the Stars but the judges were forgiving of her mishap with partner Ralph Macchio. They were far less accepting, however, of the couple who earned the lowest score of the night. For more about this week’s eliminated contestant, head to the jump:Chris Jericho is quick to admit it: He didn’t love the reaction he got after dancing the tango to Journey on Monday (Bruno Tonioli, in particular, compared Jericho to a “lump of granite”). ”The judges were harsh,” the WWE wrestler told reporters after Tuesday’s elimination show. But he also recognized that it wasn’t his best performance — he and partner Cheryl Burke only earned 22 out of 30 points – which is why he became the fifth dancer to leave the ABC show.
“It was starting to get to me,” Jericho told reporters. “My kids were coming this week but we were getting ready to do two dances a week, and its hard. You have to put everything you have into this show when you sign up for it. It was a great experience, but at this point in the competition, every dance has to be your best. And last night, it wasn’t our best. Last week we were in the bottom two. I was shocked, I was a little bit angry. This week, we could pretty much feel it coming.”
“It’s an upset, because I really think Chris had the potential to go all the way,” added Burke. “It was an off night.”
Remarkably, it seemed that Jericho was the one having to cheer up his partner — not the other way around. Burke admitted that she was feeling some burnout going into this season but Jericho reminded her of the pros of being a pro on DWTS. ”He helped me to be excited for this show,” she said. “After doing it for so many seasons, sometimes you get used to the schedule. He opened up my life, reminded me to be proud of what I do.”
“It’s easy to not see the forest through the trees sometimes and Cheryl’s been doing this for so long,” added Jericho. “If anything, I made her remember how damn good she is. She is still the best dancer on this show. That’s why she gets stuck with guys like me and makes us look really good. It’s a special talent she has. I wanted to always let her know that, that it’s pretty damn cool that she gets to do this for a living.”
But some things aren’t cool to Burke — like when the judges cross a line. “It’s turning more into the judges show than an actual dancing show,” said Burke. ”I think sometimes the judges can be a little harsh. Bruno was mean to Chris. There was nothing that he could take from what Bruno said. There was nothing positive and nothing for him to work on if he were to make it to next week. I hope this doesn’t turn into a mean show.”
For an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at Burke and Jericho talking to reporters, check out our video below.