'Dancing with the Stars' eliminated contestant: 'I am not leaving this show bitter or angry'

Dancing-Chaz-Lacey

Image Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC

For many celebrities who participate on Dancing with the Stars, making it beyond the halfway point is an accomplishment in itself. But when an exit is predicated by some particularly harsh words from the judges, leaving the ABC show can feel pretty bittersweet.

Fortunately for Chaz Bono – who was told by Judge Bruno Tonioli that he looked like a “cute little penguin” on Monday – the author and activist harbors no ill-will toward the show that ricocheted him back into the spotlight this fall. “I was quite angry last night,” Bono told reporters on Tuesday. His tango, which he performed with partner Lacey Schwimmer in coat and tails, earned 19 out of 30 possible points on Monday and generated the cutting comments from Tonioli, who had previously compared Bono to an “Ewok.” “But I feel really good. I’m just grateful to have had the experience. I’m not leaving this show bitter or angry or anything. I’m grateful for Lacey and for everybody that I worked with on Dancing with the Stars. It was a wonderful, life changing experience. I’m so glad I did it.”

Serving as an inspiration for transgendered people was “the main reason I did the show,” Bono told reporters — though he was always conscious about not serving as a role model for his community. (The only child of Sonny and Cher told EW last month that “I don’t want to say I’m representing anybody other than myself.”)  Though he was initially a target of condemnation, Bono’s participation in one of TV’s most popular shows was a source of pride for organizations like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

“Unlike many of his competitors, Chaz Bono didn’t come into Dancing With the Stars with a lifetime of training in performance or athletics behind him, but nevertheless he showed how far someone can go and improve through hard work and perseverance,” GLAAD Associate Director of Media Matt Kane posted online Tuesday.  “What’s more, Chaz allowed millions upon millions of viewers to learn a little more about him with each passing week and quickly became the world’s most well-known transgender person.”

Cher, meanwhile, posted this reaction via Twitter: “I Have Got 2Hold my TEMPER ! MY Tears R OK ! Congratulations  Chaz I’m SO PROUD OF U ! This was YOUR Quest…& u Followed your Star.”

As for what’s next, Bono isn’t so sure — though he would like to encourage his fans to vote for soap star J.R. Martinez. (He and Schwimmer are huge fans). Meanwhile, Bono is digging how he’s lost a few inches while gaining some much-needed perspective from the show. “I got to dig deeper into myself probably more than I ever have and overcome a lot of fear, pain, anxiety and stress,” he told reporters. “It’s made me a better person.”

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  • CJ

    I wouldn’t say Chaz deserved to win or anything, but I can’t believe Nancy Grace is still in the competition. I wish I could vote for Tristan (who is adorable) without voting for her.

    • Share

      This clown should have been gone week one.

      • Don

        totally agree I couldn’t wait…

      • likda

        My best friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
        They met-via { himillionaires.сσм }
        It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
        You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

      • LOL

        America loves crap.

    • Lauren

      Totally agree! Hopefully Tristan will be back next season partnered with someone I can actually root for.

    • TWINKY

      MAMA GONNA HAVE A BABY
      MAMA GONNA HAVE A BABY

      IT AIN’T NO BOY
      IT AIN’T NO GIRL

      IT’S JUST AN ORDINARY BABY

    • kat

      I wouldn’t worry, this usually starts a stretch of very predictable vote outs. Hope and Maks will be out next, then likely David and Kim, and then the big decision will between Rob/Cheryl and Nancy/Tristian. If Rob can stay on his path with his dancing and personality that he was on this week, then he will probably win out over Nancy, but if not, Tristian is so darn cute, they might find themselves into the top three.

    • kelly

      Why didn’t Chastity lose any weight during this process? Most everyone does.

  • Jean

    We will NEVER vote for Max again…. let him go…bring back Johnathan …HE is a gentalman !!

    • olegirl

      It seems to me that the judges should be judging on the indivuals ability to preform each style of dance to the best of their ability . By that I mean critize the area at fault ( IE: arms flaying or feet not straight) and not how pathetic they did over all since their not professionals, and their dance parters can only teach them so much in a short period of time. _Perhaps the judges should watch the X Factor Judges for a clue– Not so much you Carrie Ann. No one needs Bruno to say they looked like a cat in heat or some other not so nice things. And cuddo’s to Chaz for doing his best. There was no way he could preform some of the lifts that the others were doing yet; you & I know, he was judged for his unability to do them. Same as that older woman that was on a few seasons ago she couldn’t do alot of the dancing tech. but they kept voting for her even thou she made me embarrassed for her and we both are getting up there in age. Each new person that joins this dance program comes with their own emotional and physical conditions and other than nerves they shouldn’t be judge on any of the conditions they bring with them. Just my opinion. & plez forgive if spelling is a muck. Thanks

      • buttercreme

        Yes I agree. Do the judges understand the premise of the show. I wish they would stop acting as if these “celebrities” are professional dancers. I live Len but he takes himself wayyyyy to seriously.

      • Pat

        I agree, but more. I believe DWTS will soon begin to lose its luster and be understood for what it is…just another type of reality show, but with paid “judges” who have dance backgrounds, but are really there to make outlandish comments and stir up emotions. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the real arguing to begin between seasoned dancers, new contestants working their asses off and the artificial surprise of the judges that they could be spoken to the way that Makz did. (Did Bruno think it was constructive criticism to compare Chaz to a penguin)?

      • dms

        We need actual ballroom judges who don’t score based on emotion but on technique and performance and nothing else. That’s how normal ballroom comps are judged. Neither B nor C are ballroom – so why the heck are they judging a Ballroom comp? Chaz should have been gone weeks ago, same with Nancy. They are both awful and boring to watch. I feel for the dance pros.

      • Lisa

        I now mute Bruno’s comments. They are so absurd and frankly I am embarrased to hear some of them in front of my children. He needs to go. I do not find him helpful or entertaining.

    • ICUTMY WEENYOFF

      SEE YA LATER CHAZ.

    • Billy

      not one thing wrong with Maks defending his partner against the cruel attitude of a judge…..I guess you are not used to anyone defending you against harsh, uncalled for comments….

      • Beverly

        I totally agree.

    • Yes to Jonathon

      I agree

  • Alice

    I love POTO, and I liked Chaz’ phantom. It’s too bad Bruno was such a killjoy. And Len is considered bitter?

    I never quite understood Chaz, but the light went on today. You’re a true gentleman, Chaz, and I wish you all the best.

  • eidde santos

    Well at least Chaz left in good terms. I think he should have been let go a while ago but at least he did make an effort. When it comes to Maks I think he needs to go. I love his dance partners, like Brandy and Mel B but this isn’t the first time he has mouth off to the judges. He may be a good dancer but that doesn’t excuse his behavior and his attitude.

    • Billy

      Chaz certainly was no joke..he had every right to compete as well as any other. The judges are often very rude and insensitive, expecting perfection in such a short time…I is apparent none of them were worth anything special after just 5 weeks of training when they started. Maks did the right thing defending his partner….and he is NOT the only dancer to argue with the judges….I have every episode over the last several years on my dvr and replayed some of them and Maks is not the only one who argues. And when he said it was his show…that is tongue in cheek..like a student saying that is my school. All of the dancers say it is their show.. So what? And bringing stars on the show is NOT for talent, it is for anyone to see what they can do…if it was for talent only, the stars would need to train for a year and THEN start to compete.

      • Whoopi Goldberg for President

        I agree Billy…Maks mouthed off to Len, who frankly had it coming! Furthermore, Maks is absolutely right, the judges are not consistent with their criticism, and play favorites according to whom ABC wants to keep on the show. I was hoping Chaz would turn out to be a good dancer, but he wasn’t. No need to slam his life choices over that, but he should have gone home weeks ago, certainly before better dancers Chynna and Kristin Cavilleri.

      • Yesenia

        Completely agree and let me just say I was a bit ticked with Derrick for his reaction behind Maks’s back and to reporters since he has mouthed off in the past too. I remember Mark and Tony also mouthing off as well as you always get reactions from certain female pros rolling their eyes or making faces. It was a moment of passion and frustration and I don’t blame him one bit. It may not be HIS show but at this point more people watch for the pros than for the “stars” making it their show which is what I think Maks actually meant to say. He was just a little lost in translation.

    • vera

      Yeah, it’s getting old. Everyone knows the judges don’t follow any logic for their scores. They’re utterly inconsistent, and rude too. Sadly, it’ll never change: more scandal = more ratings. I get that anyone facing this will get frustrated. As a viewer I certainly do. But to throw that level of hissy fit again and again like Maks does is off putting. And I’m saying this as someone who’s seen every stupid season of the show, and used to love him.

  • DJ

    Chaz Bono was a joke. Just there for the ratings boost. They shouldn’t use contestants that have no chance. I, for one, want to see talent, not celebrity.

    • Share

      Amen.

      • Semaj summions

        Let’s get serious I don’t care what she or he is it’s about danceing & people be honest with yourself she was only there because of rateings and 1 more thing no matter what chasity will always be a woman you can cut your breast off grow a beard still a woman

    • Kiwi28

      Really?! What “talent” does the Kardashian kid have or for that matter Nancy Grace? What about ALL of the questionable “talent” in previous seasons? Such as Bristol Palin, which was certainly FOR THE PUBLICITY. You say Chaz was a joke. Other than prejudiced reasons; HOW was he a joke? Other contestants have been stiff or ungainly. So many of the football stars have been. Or was it weight? Which if it is, then that’s a prejudiced reason too. There have been many overweight stars. Were they also a joke? Or was it just the fact that he is an openly transgendered person that bothers you so much? Oh and please realize that whether or not you respond to my reply; all my questions are truly rhetorical.

      • Don

        none of ur questions make any sense, matter fact I did say 2 my mom if this joke don’t go 2night i would no longer watch this show, though cher is his/her mom as a former artist she knows better

      • BamaPhilip

        He is a joke because he is certainly not a star, except when he was that cute little girl on Sonny & Cher.

      • @Kiwi28

        Yeah, other contestants have been stiff and ungainly and they were jokes too, (Master P anyone????). Why should we bend over backwards just because Chaz had a sex change?? Because of that no one can say anything negative about his dancing??? He is a horrific dancer who got progressively worse from week to week. Get over it, Chaz was a joke, he stunk, and he’s now gone!!!!!

      • Ryan23

        Chaz was terrible and was on the show far longer than any of them (except Palin). And the footplayers are actually pretty darn good on there. They don’t weigh 300 pounds and they are able to move their weight around without looking like a heart attack is imminent.

        And as far as judging Chaz for a sex change… you do know he/she still has a vagina, right? The “sex change” consisted of having breast tissue removed. So Chaz is either still a woman, or many breast cancer survivors are now transgendered.

      • rafter727

        You seem to forget that Chaz signed up for DANCING -with the STARS. The operative word is DANCING. Dancing requires gracefulness of movement and the ability to lift ones partner if necessary for show. Such a cry baby. Chaz seemed to think that Mommy and friends would pull them through. But there comes a time when everyone has to walk or dance on their own two feet. Obesity was a major factor in the performance. Chaz looked more like a water bullalo (sorry buffalo) on roller skates. No dancing just walking and looking like an injured deer. Complaining every week about sore knees. etc. Do you think maybe Chaz should have getten the body prepared, by losing weight, toning up and then trying to dance? The problem with the country is if you cant succeed, blame someone else. Nancy Grace also falls into this catagory. Cry Cry Cry. To Bad. Neither belonged on this competition to start with. Max was right, some people walk across the stage and come back the next week while those who are actually getting better dancers was get voted. offf. Chaz stay way to long—thanks to mommy.

    • X

      If you want to see talent, then stop watching Dancing with the Stars and watch So You Think You Can Dance.

      • G in PA

        Exactly.

    • Troy

      If you want to see talent -then this show is NOT for you. All of these contenders are amateurs. Unless you are voting for the professionals all the time. I gave up on this show years ago and am amazed that people STILL think this show is based on talent. It’s a popularity contest really -and it matters who is paired up with Derek Hough -because fans seem to vote his way every week. It’s kind of obvious that the producers do have their favorites among the pros. If I was Maks -I probably would be upset too.

    • cheryl

      If you sit to pee, you are a she!!

      • ada

        do not judge anyone because of looks or sex preferense i think he try hard and did good, very good never know when u might have a child like that u still love them regardless, they need more love

    • get real

      totally agree, I cant believe these people taking this junk serious . If chaz wasnt who & what he is ,he would have been gone the first week! dancin was just looking for a rating hike from the beginning with a controvercy and they got 2. Even better for them and for chaz. The activist got what he was seeking …attention …..and the show got what it wanted….ratings. And the sheep keep following..aiding & abetting. Welcome to the real world..

  • mark

    Len owe’s Hope, and for that matter all who watch, an apology. Clearly there is and always has been a varied standard adjusted for personality. Hope was not deserving of the comments offered by the old man judge. Hope’s partner was out of line in what was said but you know some times the truth hurts. The comment about being in the business for 50 years is condescending and his comments rude. Len killed much of the fun of the show…he needs to know that when you are rude long enough and to enough people someone will bite back.

    • Dellane

      Actually some of us in that “all who watch” group believe Maks owes an even bigger apology to the audience. His arrogance in calling it “his show” and his ageist comment did not set well with many of the group you claim to speak for (but really don’t).

      • Billy

        Many others of us in the watch group know that Len is arrogant and viscious at times and takes advantage of his power to be unChristian and venomous. And WE are thankful that Maks defended his partner…not many have the courage to do that. He called Len on Len’s arrogance. These contestants are NOT professionals and cannot be judged in the same way..they did not take dancing lessons for years before competing like the kids on So You Think You Can Dance….Go Maks….and he has not been the only dancer to speak out harshly to the judges…and rightly so

      • Alice

        Really, some of you are so deluded to think Maks defended Hope. Maks defended Maks. He was sore because it was HIS fault that Hope had the wrong shoes.

        Maks has torn down Hope since he realized she was not a natural with dance. Again, it was HIS mistake as he picked her and assumed a professional athlete would be a shoe-in (pun intended).

        Maks is his own worst enemy.

      • Karen

        I just wanted to say Maks is totally correct in the way they judge these couples. Some get away with everything, even though they are terrible! I also wanted to tell ‘Alice’ that the pros don’t pick the celebrities. They are matched up by personalities & things. That was shown on the show quite a while ago. They showed the way they match them up. Anyway, I love the show, & I love Maks. Go Hope & Maks!!!

    • tim

      I was very suprised when Chaz got the boot and not Hope – the cards were there, they’d fallen, as they had in previous weeks, but she stays. Surprising, given Max’s outburst..

      • Susan

        Maks comment should have had nothing to do with the votes. It was about DANCING ability. And even though Hope is not that good, she was better than Chaz.

      • Penny

        Maks should have gone. When he did this in Brandys season, he left the next week, which I hope happens again. It is up to all of us.

  • amanda

    I think chaz did great he tried his best and is just so brave after all the bad and nasty things people said about him bein on the show he came into the competition with his head held high and danced his butt off good luck chaz may u continue to be an inspiration to many many people

    • Kate

      I agree! He wasn’t a great dancer but to even agree to be on the show took huge amounts of courage. I was really proud of the way he handled himself in the face of so many threatening to protest the show, etc.

      • Gonna hurl……..

        COURAGE SCHMOURAGE. IF I HEAR THAT WORD ONE MORE TIME I’M GONNA HURL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Mellissa

        Hurl, why don’t you get on there and dance in front of that big audience and even bigger TV audience? I think all the “stars” of the show have courage for going on it, but people like Palin and Bono, who get reamed for no other reason than someone doesn’t *agree* with them may need to have thicker skin then most.

      • alan of montreal

        Gonna Hurl, why don’t you just do that? Then maybe it’ll get all that bad, nasty stuff out of your system (or at least shut you up for a couple of minutes)

    • Marge

      Couldn’t agree more. What a fine human being Cher raised. His dignity under so much criticism, and his sweet nature in dealing with the meanness directed toward him has made me a big fan. If there were more people like him, the world would be a better place.

      • Gonna hurl (pt II)……

        If there were more people like him, there would be no “world”.

      • Rick

        Marge, what do you know about Chaz? She is sick and a bearded lady is not that attractive. Chaz did what she wanted to do, but is still all woman. Why do you think becoming transgendered is something that will make the world a better place? Marge, you need to think things through just a little bit more. A good test is to ask, if everyone did that same thing would the world be a better place?

      • VICKIE

        THEN GO AHEAD AND HURL AND GET IT OVER WITH, YOU ARE JUST A BULLY! IT’S A TV SHOW….GET OVER IT.

  • carla brown

    I am really disappointed in this season. Two really good dancers were dropped early on, while 1 marginal dancer and 1 bad dancer were kept on. I think the judges should be able to override the audience when it is so obvious that certain people are getting popularity votes. This is a dancing show, now a popularity contest. I think if the show continues down this route, it will not continue to succeed.

    • NedPepper

      The entire premise of this show is a joke. Of course it’s a popularity contest. It’s celebrities dancing badly for no other reason than to create another 15 minutes.

      • tim

        Celebrities? One B lister – Arquette. Guess they’re having trouble signing ‘celebrities’.

    • Lyndsey

      What show have you been watching the last few years?? Dancing with the Stars has ALWAYS been a popularity contest but people only complain about that when their favorites go home despite good scores. A contestant could have a “30″ from the judges but if no one votes for him or her then that person will be eliminated.
      I’m not saying that’s right or that I agree with it but that’s just the way the show works!!!

      • Yes!!

        You summed it just right.

  • IMHO

    Chaz may not deserve the win but he deserved respect. Bruno’s remarks have been spitefully aimed at things Chaz cannot change. He isn’t going to grow 6 inches taller or drop 100 pounds in a matter of weeks so mocking his physical appearance is petty and unprofessional. The judges comments should focus on specific actions the dancers should work to improve or where they have shown improvement. How does telling someone they looked like an Ewok help them become a better dancer? Kudos to all the dancers for facing public ridicule from the judges each week.

    • Kate

      Exactly! Chaz’s point was well taken that the judges would never refer to overweight women as animals. Either the judges have just lost their patience for the show or the producers are getting them to dial up the snarky behavior, but either way the civility seems to be dropping dramatically. I understand that the judges might get frustrated when less talented dancers keep making it through, but use the scoring to reflect the difference in ability. Taking your frustrations out on people who are working really hard regardless of their natural talent through petty comments is not the answer.

    • helga

      I absolutely cannot stand Bruno and his irresponsible,stupid remarks. I have to turn the volume down to avoid listening to him or just change the channel. Totally unprofessional and needs to be ‘voted off’, pronto.

  • Suzanna

    Love Chaz and Lacey, he kept smiling through it all, and Lacey was his great sweet partner. Bruno should be sorry, not nice at all.

  • Peggy

    Does Brooke ever look in the mirror? Why does she constantly wear dresses that are clearly too small for her? When a dress cups in the front across her “abdomen” and cups under her buttocks in the back, it is clearly too small. She is a beautiful, stunning woman, and it makes her look cheap.

  • tammy

    People — let’s call ‘Dancing with the Stars” what it is — a variety show. I love it, but I know it is not about who is the best dancer always, but who entertained us the most and I am ok with that. They dance for a mirror ball trophy for heavens sake. I have no problem saying that I was more entertained by Chaz and Carson than Hope and Kristin so that’s who I voted for and wanted to stay. Bruno’s rudeness to Chaz and Mak’s rampage last night were way out of line — every dancer works equally hard.

  • Elizabeth

    I honestly think something needs to be addressed regarding the judges. To watch Bruno dismiss Chaz’s frustration was incredibly insensitive and “unprofessional “. ABC you are looking for ratings in the WRONG way! Season before last I came very close to quitting on a show I have really enjoyed and looked forward to every week! ABC you need to listen!

  • Patti

    Mak and Hope should go! Bad Attitudes! Both of them!

  • Soldier

    Chaz Bono you a hero and revolutionary! You are an inspiration! You have courage, truth and grace that most do not! Chaz Bono Forever!

    • Don

      he/she, whatever hero in my ass, u might be outta your mind 2 say a such thing about a clown, he/she had no talent whatsoever of being a dancer, which makes lacey do the whole work, Lacey needed a break…

      • MB

        Oh Donna, don’t get your panties in a wad!

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