Despite bringing his all to rehearsals and the ballroom, Michael Bolton couldn't escape the doghouse he emerged from as part of his routine on Monday’s Dancing With the Stars performance show, when on Tuesday he and partner Chelsie Hightower were eliminated.
Michael’s jive did not win over the judges, garnering some of the harshest comments in recent years and one of the show's lowest scores — a 12 out of a possible 30. Judge Bruno Tonioli’s unconstructive comments were deemed too mean, sparking a heated debate with fellow judge Len Goodman that continued well into Tuesday night’s results show. Despite being given the chance to make amends, Bruno stuck to his guns and would not retract a word.
“I think it may have been one of the biggest smackdowns in DWTS history,” said Chelsie after the couple’s elimination. “I am glad they gave them the option to readdress things, but it’s unfortunate the opportunity was not taken.”
“I thought Bruno was too mean, with nothing constructive to say,” adds fellow dancer Cheryl Burke. “Michael has been the hardest-working one, rehearsing up to 10 hours on some days. It’s sad to see him go. I’d like to see Bruno come out here and do a jive.”
In his own defense, Michael tells In Touch, “Maybe Bruno got up on the wrong side of the bed and there was a picture of me there or something?”
For more with Michael and Chelsie, click here.
Dancing With the Stars
Michael Bolton & Chelsie Hightower
Eliminated: September 28
You came out of a doghouse during Monday’s dance and into another doghouse with the judges!
Michael: But after certain moments, I feel the doghouse wasn’t so bad. I liked that place — it was custom-designed for me to come out of and have fun. Last week, my mandate was to have fun and smile. Chelsie created a concept. After we talked about it and worked on it, she saw I was relaxing more and able to smile. I felt I could, too, and this is the first time I said, "Let’s do this dance!" I couldn’t wait to get out there and smile and relax, and I didn’t get any love for it.
Do you regret using a prop?
Michael: It is what it is, but I feel the direction was to do something fun. I have no regrets about the doghouse whatsoever, or chasing the bone Chelsie was hiding from me during the dance — it was adorable. That was the central theme, and at the end of it, I was taking it. Someone said was it risky. Like going on this show isn’t a risk?
But the judges were unusually harsh.
Michael: Everyone has said that, to the point that Len tried to rein in Bruno, so I don’t know.
Chelsie: It is hard to come out here and do what these celebrities do. Michael wants to be here, wants to do well and is trying hard. It would be one thing if he had a bad attitude and was like, “Screw this, I don’t want to be here or do this,” but he is trying. And if anyone is willing to do that and try the way he is… I think Bruno’s comments were uncalled for.
Especially when there was nothing constructive said.
Michael: When the mandate is to relax and smile, and you do — it makes no sense to me. I know I worked hard, and Chelsie knows I worked my ass off. I got sick, couldn’t sing or barely speak, but I showed up and worked till we were done. I know I gave my all, and it’s not reasonable for me to demand more than that. I don’t want to let the fans or Chelsie down, as she is a perfectionist and phenomenal. I want to come through for her, but this gives a sense of what you are walking into — anything can happen.
With your crazy schedule of touring and doing DWTS, do you wish you had waited?
Michael: I have 57 more shows, [and they] just go on all through the summer. But I have no regrets. Now was the time and is the time. Everything came together in a way that I felt it was the right thing to do. It was a huge challenge, and there is no whining — and if there is a whiner award, I don’t want it. I’ll pass on that one. You just do the best you can.