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Image: Hope Solo, Maks Chmerkovskiy
Adam Taylor  /  ABC
"Dancing" pro Maks Chmerkovskiy lost his cool when he felt head judge Len Goodman went a little too far in criticizing his performance with Hope Solo.
TODAY contributor
updated 10/24/2011 11:26:35 PM ET 2011-10-25T03:26:35

Monday night was Broadway night on “Dancing With the Stars,” but despite the fun theme and loads of classic show tunes, the ballroom turned into a brawl-room when one pro and one judge went head-to-head in a post-performance war of words.

Yes, somewhere between near perfect performances from Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez, and the requisite weekly dud from Chaz Bono, sparks flew.

It all started after Hope Solo completed a rumba that was ... well, about what one would expect from a Hope Solo rumba — a little stiff, not quite sexy enough and not too precise with the footwork. But it wasn’t the absolute worst routine from her or the low point of the night. (For the latter, see Bono’s “Phantom of the Opera” number, which could serve as a tutorial in how not to tango.)

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At first, head judge Len Goodman assured Solo that he always thought there was “so much there” in terms of hoofer potential from her. It just never comes out. From there, tough Goodman took over with heel-lead nitpicks and even criticism for Solo’s bad boots. Then he went for the kicker.

“This was your worst dance of the whole season, in my opinion,” he said.

With that, the audience erupted in boos, and feeling their support, Solo’s partner, the always outspoken Maksim Chmerkovskiy, encouraged the crowd to keep the jeers coming.

Goodman was not amused.

“Don’t start all of that, Maks, 'cause half the fault is yours,” he snapped.

And it was on!

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Chmerkovskiy pointed out the praise from the audience. Goodman countered, citing his 50 years of experience. The "Dancing" pro? He suggested to the venerable panelist that “maybe it’s time to get out.”

Fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli briefly jumped in at that point, calling for some judicial respect. But it seemed that Chmerkovskiy had already had enough of the unbalanced judging act that gives props for just for trying for hopefuls Bono and Nancy Grace, and a long list of technical complaints for Solo.

“With all due respect, this is my show,” he told co-host Brooke Burke after the panel flashed two 7s and a 6 for the dance. “You know, I help make it what it is. I love every aspect of it. I love every professional that’s ever been here, and I love ever celebrity that puts effort in to it every week. Having said that, I’m a little tired that we’re being judged some on effort and some being picked on for heel leads. That’s all I’m saying.”

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Hard to argue with that logic, but some might take exception with the spotlight-stealing effect Chmerkovskiy’s ballroom battle had — someone like fellow pro Derek Hough, who pulled the best “Oh no he didn’t!” mug in the background as Chmerkovskiy ranted away. Or Cheryl Burke, who took on the uncomfortable, telltale stare of someone trying get through an awkward holiday meal with the in-laws.

At least it didn’t last too long. Soon enough, the pros and the amateurs put the drama to rest and hit the stage for the just-for-fun group dance, and as group dances go, it wasn’t half bad.

Heck, even grumpy Goodman gave it a thumbs-up.

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Who’ll waltz right out of the competition Tuesday night? Well, given the random mix of ousters we’ve seen so far, it seems just as likely that a worthy boot (like the good-hearted but bad-footed Bono) could go as it does a middle-of-the-pack contender (David Arquette). But then again, the butting of heads in the ballroom could hurt Solo even though she stayed mostly silent through it all.

In other words, we’ll soon see.

Ree Hines remains a loyal member of Team Maks. What did you think of the night’s ballroom battle? Tell us on our Facebook page! Also, be sure to join Ree for our weekly post-performance “Dancing” chat on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

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Photos: 'Dancing With the Stars' season 13 cast

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  1. The stars of season 13

    The new cast of "Dancing With the Stars" was revealed on Monday, Aug. 29. In the back row, from left: Ron Artest, David Arquette, J.R. Martinez, Rob Kardashian and Chaz Bono. In the front row, from left: Ricki Lake, Kristin Cavallari, Chynna Phillips, Nancy Grace, Hope Solo and Elisabetta Canalis. Carson Kressley is not pictured.

    All 12 couples will dance for the first time on ABC on Monday, Sept. 19. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Get the party started

    "Dancing" hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke greet the new hopefuls on Monday, Aug. 29. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. David Arquette

    Actor David Arquette -- brother to actors Patricia Arquette, Rosanna Arquette, Alexis Arquette and Richmond Arquette -- is best known for his work in the film series "Scream." He is also married to actress Courteney Cox, but the two are currently separated.

    He's paired with pro Kym Johnson, who has won the mirror ball trophy twice in the U.S. version of the show. She was also the pro champ in season 2 of Australia's version. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Ron Artest

    Ron Artest is a forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, and is known for being eccentric off the court. (He has filed papers to legally change his name to Metta World Peace.) On the basketball court, he is perhaps best known for the November 2004 Pacers-Pistons fight. Artest, a Pacer at the time, rushed into the stands to confront a fan who threw a drink at him, which led to the biggest player-fan fight to date.

    He is paired with new pro Peta Murgatroyd. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Chaz Bono

    GLBT activist Chaz Bono is the only child of Sonny Bono and Cher. His documentary, "Becoming Chaz," followed his gender transition, and was nominated for three Emmys.

    He's paired with pro Lacey Schwimmer. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Elisabetta Canalis

    Elisabetta Canalis is an Italian actress who has appeared in the film "Deuce Bigalow" and the TV show "Leverage," but she is best known for dating George Clooney for two years.

    She's paired with new pro Val Chmerkovskiy, who is brother to fellow pro Maksim. Val has also previously performed on "DWTS." (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Kristin Cavallari

    Kristin Cavallari found fame with MTV reality programs "Laguna Beach" and "The Hills." She has also appeared on "The Middle" and "CSI: New York." Cavallari was engaged to Chicago Bears player Jay Cutler, but he ended their engagement in July.

    She's paired with pro Mark Ballas, who has won the mirror ball trophy twice. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Nancy Grace

    Former prosecutor Nancy Grace currently hosts "Nancy Grace" on HLN. She is also the author of mystery thrillers "The Eleventh Victim" and its sequel, "Death on the D-List." Grace is married and has twins.

    She is paired with new pro Tristan MacManus. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Rob Kardashian

    Rob Kardashian is best known as the brother of Kim, Kourteny and Khloe Kardashian. He appears on several of the family's series of E! shows, including "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and "Khloe and Lamar." He is the second Kardashian to participate in the show. Kim competed in season seven.

    He's paired with pro Cheryl Burke, who has won the mirror ball trophy twice. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Carson Kressley

    Carson Kressley is best known as the fashion guru on the Bravo series "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." He is also a New York Times best-selling author, and currently hosts "Carson-Nation" on OWN.

    He's paired with pro Anna Trebunskaya. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Ricki Lake

    Ricki Lake played Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 film "Hairspray." She has since had a long-running daytime talk show ("Ricki Lake," 1992-2004) and hosted a season of VH1's "Charm School." Lake has also made numerous TV appearances.

    She's paired with pro Derek Hough, who is a three-time mirror ball champ. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. J.R. Martinez

    J.R. Martinez plays combat vet Brot Monroe on "All My Children." Prior to acting on the soap opera, Martinez was in the Army. He was deployed to Iraq in March 2003, but less than a month after that, his vehicle hit a landmine. Martinez was trapped, and suffered severe burns. In addition to acting, Martinez is a motivational speaker.

    He's paired with pro Karina Smirnoff. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Chynna Phillips

    Chynna Phillips, the daughter of The Mamas and The Papas' Michelle and John Phillips, is perhaps best known as a member of the '90s pop trio Wilson Phillips, whose debut album sold eight million copies. She has also appeared in several films, including "Caddyshack II" and "Say Anything." She is married to actor Billy Baldwin.

    She's paired with pro Tony Dovolani. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Hope Solo

    Hope Solo is the goalkeeper for the United States women's national soccer team. She was part of the team that went to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup finals, but the U.S. ultimately lost to Japan on a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 tie.

    She's paired with pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy. (Craig Sjodin / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
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