Pop Culture

'Dancing With the Stars' gets 'ugly'! Judge Len Goodman loses it


What the heck just happened on "Dancing With the Stars"?! The show was in the midst of a highly competitive quarterfinals round Monday night when suddenly the ballroom bash went berserk.

Well, not the whole ballroom bash. The trouble started and stopped at the judges' table, where the usually prim and proper Len Goodman swapped his elder-statesman-of-the-panel persona for that of one foul-mouthed, moody man.

One of the season's leading ladies, "American Idol" alum Kellie Pickler, had just wrapped up a trio routine with pro Derek Hough and bonus pro Tristan MacManus -- a particularly dark and dramatic paso doble -- when the hubbub began.

Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli raved about the dance, but when it was Len's turn? He lost his cool -- and then some.

"I was expecting more than flashing lights and crashing music," he said of the production. "It was a hodgepodge of moves just out there to titillate the taste buds. Where's the chasse capes? Where's the twist turns? Where's the recognizable paso doble? I can't believe it! This girl is so talented!"

Now that might seem like appropriate criticism about the content of the dance, but by that point, Len was waving his arms and shouting the feedback at the stage.

"I don't want to see flashing lights and crashing music! I wanted a paso doble, Derek!" he said, aiming most of his anger at the pro and rising from his seat. "You let me down! You know who knows about this stuff. You know I'm right."

Soon Len wasn't the only judge standing and gesticulating wildly. Bruno shouted over him ("Len is wrong!"), while a shocked Carrie Ann just yelled, "No!"

But Len didn't appreciate the feedback about his feeback, so he rounded on Bruno for daring to stand and shout during his tantrum.

"You can't talk unless you stand up 'cause your vocal cords are stuck up your (expletive)!" Len lashed out.

There were plenty of boos from the crowd, but those just added to atmosphere that made the ballroom seem more like a "bad daycare" (according to host Tom Bergeron).

While Len's outburst certainly upstaged the on-stage action, it was Kellie's dance that received a score -- a particularly uneven one.

Carrie Ann and Bruno both gave the paso 10s, but Len? It wasn't worth more than a 7, as far as he was concerned. Kellie ended the night with a total of 55 points (after adding in the score from her relatively uneventful Viennese waltz).

While that incident marked the worst of Len's bad ballroom behavior, it wasn't the only time he offered up a less-than-helpful review.

For instance, there was no denying that "Bachelor" Sean Lowe's 21-point tango was one of the worst dances Monday night (matched only by his 21-point jazz routine). But rather than just telling the "Dancing" dud what the problem was, Len added a punch by calling the effort "ugly."

At least it turned out to be a beautiful night for one of the celebrities. Len and his fellow judges loved what they saw from Zendaya. In fact, the Disney Channel star followed up a fluid foxtrot (for which she nabbed 28 points) with a spectacular salsa that earned the first perfect 30 of the season.

"You're the star!" cheered Len, who seemed like a changed man.

As for Jacoby Jones (who earned a combined total of 52 points for the night), Aly Raisman (who earned 56 points) and Ingo Rademacher (who took a total of 48 points), they all got lucky and landed the "nice Len."

See which stars get really lucky -- by moving on to the semifinals -- on Tuesday night's results show, at 9 p.m. on ABC.