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Image: Michael Bolton, Chelsie Hightower
Adam Larkey  /  ABC
Michael Bolton and pro partner Chelsie Hightower received a shocking 3 from judge Bruno Tonioli
Access Hollywood
updated 9/28/2010 5:33:53 PM ET 2010-09-28T21:33:53

Sarah Palin may have turned up to “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday night, but the big story was the beat down crooner Michael Bolton got from one of the judges.

Bruno Tonioli enraged not only British judge Len Goodman, but also the contestants, after he said Bolton’s quickstep with Chelsie Hightower — set to Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” — was the “worst” dance he’s seen in 11 seasons. Brutal Tonioli ended up giving Bolton and Hightower a 3 out of 10, something that sent shockwaves among the celebrities.

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“It was unfair, it was hard,” Margaret Cho told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson after the show. “I love Michael Bolton, he’s my buddy here and so it’s really tough.”

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“I don’t think we’ve seen a 3 since Master P days,” professional dancer Tony Dovolani, who is paired with Audrina Patridge, told Robinson, recalling the hip-hop star’s disastrous season two appearance. “That was harsh. We had to actually dance right after [Michael and Chelsie], so it was hard to watch that because I know Michael wants to do this so badly, and I know the judges are there to judge, but they need to be encouraging.”

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“It was harsh,” Patridge added. “It was kind of rude.”

Pro Louis van Amstel, who dances with Cho, said that while Master P’s poor moves were worthy of the low scores he received nine seasons ago, Bolton deserved a better mark.

“[Master P] deserved it; he wouldn’t even put on a pair of dance shoes. Michael, on the other hand, he did not deserve a 3 for effort alone,” van Amstel said.

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“Jersey Shore’s” Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino was also affected by Tonioli’s low score and the judge’s words to the “Soul Provider” singer.

“I think that was harsh,” The Situation said. “Everybody in this competition is putting in their time, you see it all the time, all of us are there, we all support each other — and they gave him a 3 and I was like, ‘Damn!’”

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Behind the scenes, Florence Henderson said that after Tonioli’s remarks, the singer wore his feelings on his face.

“He looked so down backstage,” she said. “We’ve all become friends and we root for each other and it hurt all of us.”

Dovolani added that he tried to cheer Bolton up.

“He was quiet, I walked up to him and kind of gave him a nudge to the shoulder and the guy thing like, ‘Hey!’ [I said to him], ‘That was really harsh what they said. I still think you have a lot of potential, you just need to find your niche,’ ” Dovolani recalled.

As for Michael Bolton himself, he said he enjoyed the actual dance, even if the scores weren’t those for which he had hoped.

“I had fun, I liked pulling out of the dog house, holding to the bone the whole dance,” Bolton told Robinon. “Sometimes, when you’re going to have fun, you can incur the wrath [of the judges] but you know, we took that chance and doing this show is taking that chance.”

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  1. Bristol Palin

    Bristol Palin, former first daughter of Alaska, first entered the national spotlight when her mother, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was selected to be John McCain’s runningmate in the 2008 Presidential election. After giving birth to her son, Tripp, and becoming a single teen mother in 2008, she became a spokesperson for the prevention of teen pregnancy and for other teen issues. Palin recently guest starred as herself on an episode of ABC Family’s "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Her partner is Mark Ballas. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Kurt Warner

    Kurt Warner is the first quarterback to participate on "Dancing with the Stars." In 1999, led the St. Louis Rams to a victory in Super Bowl XXXIV. He eventually moved on from the Rams to the Giants and finally to the Arizona Cardinals in 2005. In 2007 he led the Cardinals to their first ever Super Bowl and was voted to his fourth Pro Bowl. He is partnered with Anna Trebunskaya. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Jennifer Grey

    Nobody puts Jennifer Grey in a corner! Grey starred as Frances "Baby" Houseman in the iconic 1987 box office hit "Dirty Dancing" with the late Patrick Swayze. Some of her other films include "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Red Dawn" and "The Cotton Club." Her partner is Derek Hough. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Kyle Massey

    Kyle Massey stars as Cory Baxter in the Disney Channel sitcom, "Cory in the House." He originated the role of Cory in Disney's "That’s So Raven," the first show in Disney's history to produce over 100 episodes. He will partner with Lacey Schwimmer. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Rick Fox

    A three-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, actor and producer Rick Fox has appeared in a number of film and television projects, sharing the screen with actors ranging from Whoopi Goldberg to Henry Winkler, Angela Bassett and Shia LeBeouf. His partner is Cheryl Burke. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Brandy

    Brandy is a platinum-selling R&B and pop singer, actress, songwriter and record/television producer. In 1994, at the age of 15, Brandy released her eponymous debut album, selling over 6 million copies. She is currently filming Season 2 of the VH1 reality show "Brandy and Ray J: a Family Business." She will dance with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Michael Bolton

    He can sing, but can he dance? Michael Bolton has sold more than 53 million records, released 18 studio albums, won multiple Grammys for Best Male Vocalist and countless other honors, all while selling out arenas worldwide. His partner is Chelsie Hightower. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Florence Henderson

    Florence Henderson will always be best known in syndication worldwide as "America's Favorite Mom" and matriarch Carol Brady on the classic TV series "The Brady Bunch," which aired for five seasons (1969-1974). Henderson has been a celebrity spokeswoman for Oldsmobile, Tang, Polident, Rain Soft, Pepsi Light and Wesson Oil and maintains a busy schedule as a sought after motivational speaker. She will be partnered with Corky Ballas. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Margaret Cho

    Comedian Margaret Cho first performed stand-up in her native San Francisco at the age of 16. Her best-selling tours include the off-Broadway hit/concert film "I’m the One That I Want," "Notorious C.H.O.," "Revolution" and "Beautiful." She is also a regular cast member of the Lifetime series "Drop Dead Diva." She will dance with Louis Van Amstel. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. David Hasselhoff

    Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The Most Watched TV Star in the World," David Hasselhoff has gained international fame in music, television and film. Hasselhoff got his start in entertainment on the soap opera "The Young and the Restless" and was pursued to play the lead role of the 1980's cult favorite, "Knight Rider." His famed skyrocketed thanks to 11 years in a swimsuit on "Baywatch." Don’t hassel the Hoff! He will dance with Kym Johnson. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Audrina Patridge

    Audrina Patridge starred in six seasons of the MTV reality series "The Hills." The aspiring actress made her debut on the big screen last fall in the thriller "Sorority Row." Other film credits include "Into the Blue 2" and "Honey 2." Last summer, Patridge made headlines steaming up TV screens in a commercial for Carl’s Jr. Her partner is Tony Dovolani.. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
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